Monday, January 7, 2013

iPhoneography

Blade Studios #livemusic #music #bladestudios #superwatersympathy #shreveport #louisiana #365live #jan42013fri
Pretty sure I've shot over 20,000 photos with my iPhone 4S since I got it in October 2011. Of those 20,000, around 1800 are finished pieces. You can see them on my Instagram account via my INK361 account since Instagram doesn't have a web interface --- JUST CLICK HERE.

Been kinda lax on an update on what apps I'm using to shoot with. So here goes. I always use an app when I shoot. I'm currently using Camera+ . Photosynth is another. For video I use 8mm. Video editing is done in the phone on iMovie. These aren't all the apps I use just the ones I'm using most. If you want to take the time to read my development as an iPhonegrapher GO HERE. It's blog posts on my adventures in shooting and processing over the last year.

You wanna be a good iPhonegrapher or photographer? Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. I know musicians who practice three hours a day. We should probably all be doing the same with whatever our creative outlet is.

P.S. Oh, yeah...why you been away from the blog so long you ask? It's been an interesting fall and winter. I blame it on a gong bath. Remind me to tell you that story sometime. NOTE: Shot the above photo at Blade Studios at an interesting concert Jan 4, 2013 done by Super Water Sympathy.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Church Voodoo Dolls

The shape of Voodoo dolls greets me everywhere even from boxes of Sour Patch Kids. #voodoo #voodoodolls #louisianaculture #louisiana #purple #candy #sourpatchkids #shreveport #kuhighland
Just watched the episode Theef from season seven of X-Files. It dealt with Voodoo and puppet dolls. And it reminded me that I really needed to write this post on finding Voodoo dolls in a Protestant church since I've been promising to do just that since the beginning of September. 

So here it goes... I live in Louisiana. Voodoo has been here a long time here. There is a Voodoo museum in New Orleans.  I'm pretty sure I've visited it on a family vacation. Voodoo is a religion combining Roman Catholicism and native African religion.

I can't explain why I like Voodoo so much. I was raised Southern Baptist in the Green Country of Oklahoma. It seems like Voodoo would be the last subject that would fascinate me. But then maybe not. Oklahoma is full of Native Americans and their culture. Voodoo involves dancing. Native American culture involves dancing. And as a little kid I loved to dance. So maybe there are wee clues as to why the religion calls to me.

I seem to find Voodoo shapes everywhere I look (see above) like on a box of Sour Patch Kids candy. So I think it's pretty normal that I'd find 42 Voodoo Dolls in a church decorations closet. Not Roman Catholic. But Protestant.

The cloth dolls ended up in pile of items headed for the dumpster or a thrift store when I found them. I pulled them from the yellow gift bag. "Voodoo dolls?" I said to no one since I was alone in the third floor youth area.

I counted 42 of them. Forty muslin colored ones and one brown one. "What would a church be doing with these?" I imagined an indie film scene where church ladies were gathered to have an entire town do their bidding. Hmmmm...

No one seemed surprised when I showed them the dolls. "Oh those. We used to have a church ministry..."

THE PLOT THICKENS...to be continued (like they say at the end of some episodes of X-Files).

Monday, September 17, 2012

FREE bread pudding from Ernest's and cash money for poetry

I'm sitting on top of FREE bread pudding from Ernest's... well, kinda... Thanks to Kelly Phelan Powell for the great write up! #voodoo #voodoomagic #breadpudding #free #Ernests #voodoodoll #boro #borostitch
You've just got a day or two to pick up the September 5, 2012 issue of The Forum if you want to read the sweet article Kelly Phelan Powell wrote about my work (more about the interview). Lora Fairchild took the photo in the Meadows Museum. If you can't find a hard copy you can always find back issues of The Forum on their website. 

It makes me laugh to see how the article sits above the ad for FREE bread pudding from Ernest's. Even if you don't wanna read about me, you know you want get a copy of that ad so can get one of those tasty Southern desserts. For FREE!

Love the whole article (who doesn't like to have a swell article on themselves...) but the last part is my favorite

"...one of Usher's chief goals is to exhort Shreveport artists to tell their own stories.

'Don't tell the story of New Orleans,' she said. 'Don't paint a picture of your feet on the beach in the Florida sand. I couldn't care less about that. Go take a photo of your feet in the Red River sand and tell me our story because we have some really great stories.'"

Speaking of the Meadows Museum, they have a new website from The Friends of the Algur Meadows Museum of Art at Centenary College. The new site has a blog. Here's the post on the poetry contest being held in conjunction with the large piece Matador by Monica Zeringue now showing in the main gallery at the museum.

Still working on the blog post about the 42 Voodoo dolls I found at a local church. Details later this week in a blog post. I promise.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Prequel: 42 Church Voodoo Dolls

Before I tell you about the 42 Voodoo Dolls I found in a church closet, tell me what you know about Voodoo... go! #shreveport #louisiana #kuhighland #highland Voodoo worked here The Voodoo Dolls Lunch Marilyn's Place #monsters #louisiana #shreveport #fiberart #artdoll #kathrynusher It's Big! See the Electrical Meter Box Zelma the Red Love Draw Voo Doo Doll Visits the Red River - Money Draw House 1 Highland Voodoo True Blood and Voo Doo KCB with LA Other Side Sign

"Voodoo imagery" that was one of the reasons my short film was banned in Shreveport a couple of years ago in a contest sponsored by the Shreveport Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. I tell you this as a way of saying I've been working with the images and stories of Voodoo for several years. This photo essay shows some of that work.

I wanted you to have some background before I tell you the story of how I ended up finding 42 Voodoo dolls in a Protestant church in Louisiana. 

Why am I fascinated with Voodoo? It's a religion that has priestesses and dancing. What's not to love?  That's a bit different than religions where worshiping consists mainly of group sitting in a pew.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fitch Bros Common Seen Artspace

Common Seen #art #artexhibit #exhibit #photographyexhibit #photography #iphoneography #shreveport   #louisiana #kudowntown #downtown #digitalart
Okay. Get ready to hate me. I hate me for thinking these thoughts.

I'm a little concerned about the art we are making in Shreveport. I know it's hard to be fantastically creative with limited budgets, but kids, dang.

I want you, I want me to get out there and stir up some fantastically never before seen things. Make my eyes weep. Make my brain explode.

6 Things I don't want to see ever again
1.) Watercolor paintings of flowers. Stop it now.
2.) Things made from lint (you should be line drying your clothes anyway).
3.) Work that goes under the file "Hey, that's pretty good for Shreveport/Bossier."
4.) Artists who keep making art and it's not selling so when they die the folks left behind will have to figure out what to do with it (do your friends and loved ones a favor and throw that crap away or paint over it and work some more or have a yearly bonfire).
5.) Art made that has absolutely no artist's thumbprint to it whatsoever.
6.) Showing work that is perfectly fine for what it is - "crap I'm making to get to the work I really need to be showing." Refer to item 4 for what to do with those pieces.

If you really don't know if the art you are making is crap or not, do us all a favor. Take a week or two and absorb all the artist bios on the PBS show Art21. Then ask yourself this question as you look around your studio/garage/laundry room/kitchen/back porch "How's my art practice look compared to those professionals?" If it doesn't stack up stop making art and become a collector instead. You'll be an instant hero because quality collectors are desperately needed in SB Land.

Having said the above, I'm looking forward to the opening at artspace tonight. As Trudeau put it "The Fitch Bros gang" has filled artspace with their art. Here's hoping my brain explodes when I enter the space. If you go and make it upstairs... I have a couple of works of iPhoneography in the Common Seen exhibit and Blair Thrall has a fine solo show of her colorful paintings.

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Daughter the Assassin Giving Her Permission to Kill

My Daughter The Boss Answers - "Crossbow" #college #thesis #writtenintwosummermonths #hardwork #brave #LSUS #shreveport #louisiana #kathrynusher
When my daughter plays video games she likes to be the assassin or thief. She's a rogue.

After Charlie (my husband, her daddy) passed away last September, I watched Katee play video games. At first it was a challenge because she was always killing and stealing. And yet in the game when her boyfriend took the same kind of actions, I cheered him.

Did I want Katee to be Miss Congeniality and try to charm her way through Skyrim? Apparently so. Did I really think the fire breathing dragon would pay attention if she made "pretty feet" while trying to talk him into not eating the villagers?

Somehow I muddled through the fall and winter and summer and got over my hesitation of having a bad ass for a daughter. I guess I even embraced it. Last month when she texted me that she had defended her senior thesis "like a boss" the image that popped in to my mind was Katee in her Thieves Guild gear standing in a pool of light on an otherwise darkened stage brandishing enchanted Daedric daggers while slashing her way though a herd of dragons.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Does Your Sermon Pass the Bechdel Test?

Big Momma God Shines
I've been going to church for the last couple of Sundays. It's not important to the story to know which church. I will tell you it's in the American South.

Here's a poll from ABC News about religion in America. It says older women in the South attend church the most. 

And that ties in to the Bechdel Test in an interesting way. The Bechdel is a quick way to gauge how female friendly a movie is. By friendly, I mean, is it a story that is women centered or are the women in the flick just cardboard characters?

What do movies and church sermons have in common? They are both all about the story. Tell a good story and viewers will flock to the theaters. I'm sure it's the same for church sermons.

But how can a sermon pass the Bechdel Test when most of the information for a sermon is pulled from the Bible? You know that book that tells stories about men, about a male God, and that male God's son. Big Momma God, I've stepped into a hot sticky mess.

Last Sunday's sermon was about the Prodigal Son. How did it score on the Bechdel? Ummm, there were no women, two sons, a male father and a male God and a male son of God.

This Sunday's sermon was about David killing Uriah. It Bechdelled with a male King (David), a guy getting killed, a wife (not even named in the reading), a male spiritual leader (Nathan), a male God and a male son of God. Oh wait, there was a whole Bible passage reading that really kinda compared a woman (the above not named wife) to property of a man in the form of a female lamb (2 Samuel 11:26 - 12:1-9, 13a of The Message).

So... is there any way to write sermons that score well on the Bechdel Test if your source material is the Bible?

Just so you know, to pass the test a movie has to contain these three elements.

1.) There have to be two or more women in it who have NAMES.
2.) They have to TALK to each other.
3.) And they have to TALK to each other ABOUT SOMETHING OTHER THAN A MAN.

How about you? Did your sermon this week pass the Bechdel Test? Heck, I'd even be interested in knowing if you saw a movie this week that passed the Bechdel Test. Those are far and few also. Shoot me an email and let me know kathrynusherart @ gmail.com.