How do you FEEL? by Gwynneth VanLaven
5 x 11
year created: 2010
“I’ve been a patient, presented with various forms of check-the-box/circle the word/fill in the blank check-ins. A feelings check in— a chart of cartoon faces and an old crayon. Pick one. I’ve also been in the position of looking like one of the cartoon faces, but internally feeling like another. I've felt my feelings as not labels but fleeting tides or winds, changing as soon as I've put it to paper. Or, often I experience many feelings to check-in with all at once: "feeling soup." There is no right way to read me nor my many histories. We are each much more than a feeling word checklist or label. Sometimes real and surreal swap and blur. In my invitation to you to Play, I celebrate that there is no binary of illness v. wellness. You need not pick just one feeling cartoon nor will you ever be quite the same as you were the last time that same story became aligned.”
Image Description: A spiral bound half-letter book with black and white photographs and text. The pages are sectioned in thirds, with pictures of silly faces and a feeling label mix-and-matching on the right. On the left are three clauses of a story, each on separate thirds. The effect of flipping pages at will is a blend of strange faces and stories that never quite "match up."
Gwynneth VanLaven (www.gwynnethvanlaven.net) is an artist and educator living in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her art practice includes photography, installation, writing, performance, and social engagement. She is interdisciplinary with a BA in Multimodal Language, Knox College, and MFA in Critical Art Practice, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. There VanLaven taught at the School of Art until relocating to Michigan. VanLaven’s writing is broadly published from The Washington Post to Performance Research. Gwynneth’s multimedia installation and photographic artwork have been exhibited internationally, and at venues including the Smithsonian Institution and Kennedy Center.
Celebrating art for community and social action, Gwynneth recently worked with students at University of Michigan to redesign the fabric(s) of health institutions. VanLaven is certified to lead InterPlay and assists for DanceAbility, both inclusive community-building embodiment modalities celebrating curiosity and play. From her experiences with illnesses and disabling accidents, she embraces the humor and surprises that can ensue while being “patient.”
Frame: Book laid on platform, no gloves, please play.
Not for Sale