Bananas and Mottainai

After seeing a sixty-foot refrigerated truck full of yellow bananas being unloaded onto the loading dock at the transfer station this summer, I couldn’t get the Japanese word “mottainai” out of my mind. “Mottainai” means “what a waste” and conveys a sense that we should not throw away useful things. In David Kestenbaum’s NPR story “Mottainai Grandma Reminds Japan, ‘Don’t Waste’,” Yuko Kawanishi explained that Mottainai is an old Buddhist word that relates to ‘the Shinto idea that objects have souls.’

While they were in transit, the temperature of the bananas rose, causing them to soften. I thought, “Perfect for banana bread!” wanting to contact everyone I know to pick up a 40-pound box of soft yellow bananas. I felt helpless when I learned that they were not only going to waste, they would not be composted. There was not enough staff to separate the cardboard, plastic, and bananas.

 

 

What do I wear?

The opening is in 10 days.

What do I wear?

As a wearable art sculptor- and a female, this is a perplexing question.

I don’t want to steal focus from the pieces, and I certainly want to look good and wear something thematic.  I know that Greg was threatening all of us to wear our hard hats to the opening so that people would know who the artists are.  Is it wrong that I want to look cute, and not have my hair messed up?

Since the show is in 10 days, and I have a pretty packed schedule, I decided to ask my friend Erica Horton, to help me build my dress.  Erica is a sewing master.  She makes such beautiful clothing.  Real clothes! Each of her wears are always complementary on the body.  She works at MODERN DOMESTIC a sewing studio in N Portland, and teaches oodles of CLASSES from basics and beyond.  She’s kinda a big deal.

I was really happy that she was interested in helping.  I had 5 crazy patterened shirts I saved from my Grandmother when she passed.  I remember her wearing a couple of the shirts, and the others I thought were horrifyingly terrific!  I know that if she was alive, she would love me razzing her fashion choices, and would want to be at the show.

This lovely flowered shirt is going to be one of the fabrics in the dress (that is me styling her hair, and my younger sister is on her lap).

The Disremembered collection is all about honoring those that have been forgotten or left behind.  By redesigning these silly 80′s shirts into a beautiful art show dress, I’m honoring that which was and has been.  She will get to live on, thanks to Erica the sewing wizard!

Me and Erica sampling the shirts before they’re deconstructed. Silly 80’s shoulder pads!

Yes, that is correct. You are seeing metallic houndstooth. Amazing!