The Interiority of Blk Solitude: An Interview with Artist and Art Educator Nnaemeka Ekwelum

The Interiority of Blk Solitude: An Interview with Artist and Art Educator Nnaemeka Ekwelum

It’s rare for a Zoom call to feel warm, welcoming. Navigating the digital realm is usually a cold game; lags and glitches are inherent to the connection, and speaking with someone, even over video call, often becomes a struggle against self-absorption. My face is right there—how can I not fixate on it? This hyperawareness of one’s own presence in physical isolation tends to wedge the distance between parties even further apart, detracting from meaningful conversation. 

However, when I met with scholar and artist Nnaemeka (Emeka) Ekwelum over Zoom at 9am on a Monday morning, that technologically-induced egotism slipped away. Emeka welcomed me into their space with ease, and we immediately began talking about art, life, history, family, and so much more. I had crafted a set of questions that were initially aimed at building a concise, to-the-point q&a about Emeka’s new series “The Interiority of Blk Solitude: A Collection of Grief Cloths,” their Love Aboundz art raffle, and their upcoming group show, Some Type of Way. Yet those questions merely ended up as guides to a conversation fueled by genuine passion for art and art education. Emeka walked me through (literally and figuratively) through their art practice, from its humble, shoestring beginnings to a much more developed, technically advanced process of weaving and woodworking.

As a good editor should, I had lofty goals of condensing this interview for clarity. Few people have the patience to make it through a long-form article (myself included!). But revisiting our interview and listening to it in detail, I realized I’d be doing justice to no one by whittling down Emeka’s responses to fit my vision for this piece. 

For most of the interview, I listened, enraptured as they spoke about the death of their father, the impact conversation and collaboration has and continues to have on their art making, the act of mourning during periods of collective grief, their work as an art teacher in a Boston youth prison, and the personal growth they’ve made in embracing their queerness. Read on for an illuminating interview with artist and educator Emeka Ekwelum, whose thoughtful words continue to sit with me as I reflect upon the power of art and the beauty it sows in this world. 

If you are in the Chicagoland area this weekend, head over to Blanc Gallery for their Juneteenth exhibition opening of Some Type of Way, curated by Felicia Mings and Rohan Ayinde, and featuring work by Emeka, as well as work by zakkiyyah najeebah dumas – o’neal, Blake Lenoir, Andres L. Hernandez, R. Treshawn Williamson, Alexandria Eregbu, Heather Polk, and Kyel Joi Brooks.

And if you don’t find yourself in Chicago but do have access to a computer, please check out Emeka’s Love Aboundz raffle, and consider entering. Each entry is $25 and will put you in the running to win one of seven handwoven Nigerian abata cloths. All proceeds go to helping raise money for Emeka’s PhD dissertation research project (in addition to other personal/professional goals). You can follow Emeka’s work on Instagram, @loveaboundz.

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Before I jump into the interview questions, I’m curious if you made the stuff on the wall behind you?

A lot of what you see with these pieces [shows me different pieces of woven cloth] is this plastic lacing material. Are you familiar with lanyard or gimp? That’s the material I use to weave with. It started with me stitching it. I used to do it a lot as a kid, and I came across the material in the store one day when I was in my Master’s program, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh I haven’t done this in so long.’ So I bought a small little pack, and decided to do it during class or in meetings. And then it kind of exploded into all of this. 

Eventually one of my friends came to see me, and he was like, “Have you ever thought about stitching this around bendable wire?” I hadn’t thought about that before. So then I started doing that, making sculptural things with it. And then another one of my friends who is a weaver, Stephen Hamilton, is my weaving coach, art mentor, dear friend. We met through a TA 3-4 years ago who introduced us after she noticed me stitching all the time. We met up for lunch and he was looking at the material, and he goes: “You could weave with this. And it’s elastic enough where it would be easy to use.” So that’s how I learned to start weaving.

When/what was your first foray into art making?

This only came to me recently during the pandemic. I was doing a virtual studio visit with a curator, and he asked me something about my childhood. I grew up poor, but also in a very traditional, relatively conservative household. I was closeted for a long time, and even to this day I’m moving through that in a really interesting way. I couldn’t have dolls or things like that, so I would take shoestrings from old sneakers I had, cut them up into little things like five inches in size, and knot them at the top. I’d leave a little bit of the shoestring at the top and unthread it to make these figurines with hair. They would have this loose fiber hair. I would go into the bathroom and use my mom’s curling iron to style the hair, making these people who had really cool hairstyles. 

There was nothing in them, just shoestring. I would hide them. I would style them, like sometimes I would braid it and use a curling iron to press it down and unbraid them so they had crinkly hair. And I really got good at learning how to use this curling iron. There was actually a time I broke my mom’s curling iron. She didn’t use it enough to know.

It was funny that I forgot about it because I did that for such a long time. Nobody in my family knew. To this day I don’t know if I’ve ever told them this, but they’d always complain, “You’re always in the bathroom, what are you doing in there!” I would be there hours on end, styling these different people. It’s funny to me now that I have a practice where there are certain techniques I used then, and how styling and hair have played an interesting role in my art making.

Do you know what happened to them?

I don’t! We moved when I was 13, and I’m guessing that in that process things just got thrown away. I am imagining that wherever I hid them, someone probably just threw it away, and didn’t even open whatever it was. I hope they are doing well wherever they are.

How has your art making practice developed?

[Emeka shares screen, shows me an image of a sculpture of a bust with long coiled hair] This is a sculpture that I made of my sister in 2018. It’s a 3D printed sculpture of her face on top of my mom’s old lamp vase. One random Wednesday, when I was living in Cambridge and my family was living in Randolph, MA, about 40 minutes away, I decided to stop by, see my mom, and grab some random stuff. These lamp vases were by the door—she was going to put them in the trash—but she’s had them for 20 years. I was like ‘why are you throwing them away!’ So I took them, but at the time I wasn’t sure what I was going to use them for. As a maker of things, I knew I’d be inspired. 

As I was working on this print of my sister, it just naturally came to me that I wanted to use [the lamp] as the foundation for the sculpture. So it became a really beautiful piece that I’m also writing about—I’ve been doing an ethnographic interview of my sister for about five years, about her process of coming into womanhood as an American-born Nigerian woman, and also as my best friend, as so many different things.

On her head is lanyard material around bendable wire. Each of these coils took about 4 hours to do. I just kind of get into it and keep going. So there’s probably 40 in here, and I have a few left over that I took out, maybe more. I love it because it also became a piece in celebration of Black hair. I wanted it to look like an afro, like locs, like twists, like braids. I was really playing around with all these different things. The name of the filament, the plastic, is “Black as Night Black” which is exactly what I wanted: I wanted something that was rich and deeply black. 

I worked with 2 different fabricators. It was a true collaboration. With the person who scanned the head, we sculpted it together, made adjustments, edits, and sent it to my sister. This was the stuff I was making before I met Stephen who told me “you should weave.”

Did you start [your formal practice of artmaking] by making sculptures?

I’m not a formally trained artist, I just kind of started with craft. Initially I was just stitching, like I would make these—do you want to go on a tour?

Yes please!

I can show you the stuff I was making before. So this piece right here [points camera at long, flowing work hanging on the wall] is an American flag piece that I’ve been working on since 2018 as well. It’s pretty long. I would stitch all of these individual pieces into a butterfly stitch. I like them because they look like upside down hearts. This is actually a memorial piece I’ve been working on to commemorate the lives and experiences of Black and Brown youth who have been subjected to different forms of structural violence: whether they’ve been murdered, or erased by the system in particular ways.

I used to work in the youth prison in Boston—I taught art there—and this piece was inspired by a piece one of my students made. He had painted the American flag with black and brown hands holding the bars like stripes. I remember looking at it and being like ‘wow, this is really good, but there is something about it that seems off’—and I noticed that he had the stars in the right hand corner. According to US flag codes, the flag is endowed with rights, like actual human rights. So the stars are always supposed to be on the left hand corner. And I don’t even know why I knew that, but I liked the idea of looking at the flag and feeling like ‘something feels off about this.’ I wanted to recreate that dynamic, so that’s what inspired me to approach my work this way. 

But what I realized was that the piece became pretty: it shines depending on how it’s lit. And this is the interesting challenge as a Black artist especially, I think there’s a history of us creating in the pursuit of beauty, and living in pursuit of that—whatever that looks like, feels like, smells like. That’s how we survive. At the same time too, our politicized and political works are imbued with beauty, but the beauty can sometimes eclipse the meaning and the political efficacy of the work because so many people are just consumed by the beauty and not by the underlying message. So I was thinking: how do I use this symbol that is familiar, iconic, to seduce people into the piece? The goal is then to use these tassels here and to weave the names of these kids into the pieces so that you’re drawn in, and you have to sit with what the actual piece is.

[shows me another piece that is golden yellow] This is one continuous strand, it’s about 700 yards that I molded into this ball.

So I began mostly as a craft worker. It’s been interesting as someone who isn’t formally trained in art to experience the stigma around art, and the distinction between art and craft that people try to make as a way to police who has access. I think it’s obviously gendered and racialized as well. People who do craft art are not seen as “true artists” or that craft is seen as something that can’t be conceptual in its focus—which I totally disagree with. 

The loom I work on is actually right there [points camera to corner of living room]. It’s an upright loom that West African Nigerian women weavers use to weave different cloths. So it’s kind of cool that Stephen, as a male-identified person, learned with these Nigerian women in Nigeria, and taught me the skills he learned from these women weavers. There’s something about the intimacy of another Black man, or man in general, teaching me a skill that he learned from Black women in his life, and me being a queer-identified Black person working in the tradition of women weavers. I find a lot of pride in that. I think craft is super important to my work and how I think about what I do, in part because I want to destigmatize the idea that art has to be made a certain way. Everyone has a kernel of creativity in them, and it’s about how you feed it. I think everyone has the capacity for making things. I love craft art because it’s an entrypoint for anyone. 

Do you have a preferred medium to work in?

I think fiber is it. I’ve started doing time lapse videos of me setting up the loom and weaving things and all of that. It’s cool when I look back on it because—and I use interesting colors and patterns and all that stuff—it looks like I’m painting with fiber because of how quick the time lapse is. You can see the color develop over time. I really like fibers. With the works in the Interiority of Blk Solitude series, they have different colors, different textures, I use caution tape and all sorts of things. I’m really excited about continuing to experiment with that. I love woodworking as well, and quilting. We’ll see how it goes.

[Shows me a clip of a time lapse of them at the loom] So this work is the one that’s above my bed. It’s called “Forever is a Season.” I was in a class called “Curating Performance” and every week we had to do performative gestures and film ourselves because it was during quarantine. The assignment was to do a self-portrait in quarantine, and I decided to do a portrait of myself weaving. It’s cool how the colors change and are added.

For that work did you use traditional thread and yarn?

Yes. Stephen—he’s such an amazing artist—really believes in the traditionally weighted stuff, and I like it. Actually for the art show that’s happening this weekend, a lot of my friends and family are coming into town, so I have a lot of different outfits set up. I like making them [out of traditional weighted yarn] because they’re wearable. 

In Nigerian culture people wear these things called ‘ashoke’ for weddings and different events that you throw over your shoulder. [shows me an example] People will have their dress, and then they’d throw this over their shoulder. You’ll see people dancing and moving around with it. If you really wanted to stunt you would buy something like this. 

It’s easier to weave with the plastic for sure because it’s so elastic. So he [Stephen] is always like “I love what you’re doing but when are you going to get back into traditional weighted stuff?” And I’m like soon, soon, but I just don’t want to do it because it’s so hard! It’s hard on the body. 

I’m trying to do a better job of taking care of my body as an artist. I have a friend, Jacqueline, who’s also an amazing weaver and fiber artist in Chicago, and when we were talking one time she told me, “I have to actually train my body to weave and do the things it needs to do.” She does yoga everyday, has a personal trainer. 

For me I get really obsessive in my making that I sometimes forget to take care of myself. I really want to get better at taking care of myself. But that’s why I don’t use the traditionally weighted yarns because it’s really hard.

I’m really fascinated by textile, fiber art, especially how it’s been historically denoted as ‘women’s work’ and not art. So seeing people reclaim that into different, varied works of art is really cool to see. Are you familiar with the artist Karen Hampton?

I think I am! 

The different kinds of fabric and ways that images were transferred onto it is so beautiful in her work. 

I love her work a lot.

In an interview for the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s website, you said: “I wanted to explore how artistic practices can be applied toward the identity development of Black and Brown youth. Because anti-Black racism is so pervasive and so pernicious, I believe that art-making can empower marginalized people to trust that their hearts, minds, and hands can imagine and create new worlds of possibility.” In what ways can art education help develop identity? How has art education made an impact in your life?

When I was in my Arts in Education program we talked about this a lot. We had a really profound moment in the class. We started our program around the same time Philando Castile was murdered, Alton Sterling. It was a heavy time. And we watched this spoken word performance “Simon Says” by these two spoken word artists who were discussing the school to prison pipeline. It was very emotional, very raw, very heavy. The clip ended and it was connected to what we had read for the day and what we were going to discuss. And everyone was just emotional, so my professor told everyone to take a few minutes and then we’d come back and move onto the next thing.

And when we came back I said, “I’m sorry Steve, I feel like we can’t just move on.” Especially being one of I think 3 or 4 Black people in the cohort of 50 people, I wanted to talk about this more. We’re all moved by this piece. We’re all having this emotional reaction to it. What makes art go from moving someone viscerally, to moving them to act and actually do things differently, and be a different person? As opposed to just feeling sad and then letting the sad feelings dictate how to move, how do we use that to propel us to be a little bit more intentional about how we show up in the world and advocate for certain things and certain groups of people? And that discussion ended up being the rest of the class period. It was an incredible conversation. From that we arrived at the point where we were saying that part of the challenges in the way we consume art is that we do it a lot in isolation. We put a lot of pressure on art to do a lot of things, when really it’s a medium to help people feel. It can’t do all the work on its own. It has to have a culture of conversation around it. Which is why when art gets censored, or when schools get defunded, that’s significant in that it takes away what’s possible for what art can do because it’s not allowing the culture of conversation around art to even exist. I think it’s no surprise that under the threats of fascism and authoritarian rule, free speech and art gets censored or defunded because they know that if you can envision it and then create it to make it real, then what’s stopping you from having a vision for the world and making that real? 

So that’s what art is for me, and why I think it’s so significant when I work with Black and Brown youth. It’s not that art helps in understanding their Blackness—it’s not really rooted in any of their identity markers. For example, when I was doing those drawings there [points to drawings on wall] and working with my students in the youth prison, we were using rulers to make very precise lines, which is a tedious process that requires a lot of patience. So it was cool to see them learn patience through making art. And that’s why we use pencil, we can erase—mistakes can be undone in that way. And I would tell them, “If you take your time I promise you will be happy with how it turns out.”

There’s this story that always sits with me. One of my students, René, resisted for a while, but eventually when he saw my work he was like, “I really want to make one.” And I told him, “Take your time, you’ll get there.” So he spent three days working on a piece, and it came out beautifully. And he goes, “Mr. come come come,” and he shows me his work, and I’m like “René this is stunning. This is really beautiful. Keep going.” I went to go help another student, and when I look back, he’s holding it up to the light and turning it at different angles, marveling at his own work. And I get emotional thinking about that. Here he is in a space of confinement where so many people are telling him he can’t do this, or he has to be a certain kind of way, and for him to create something that inspired him in a space of confinement was just so powerful to experience and watch. 

So that’s what I think is important about art. Art making for me is just a manipulation of materials. That’s something that’s significant to legacies of Black art making: we take found art objects, we work within limited resources to create the most beautiful, stunning objects. To have a kid who feels disempowered create something with their own vision, their own hands, with their own heart and mind and eyes, is so powerful. So that’s where identity development comes in for me. You have the capacity to create beautiful things, beautiful work.

I have this book. I’m always talking about this book, all the time. It was written by a professor who passed away about 10 years ago, who worked in the department I’m in now. His name was Richard Iton, and he wrote this book “In Search of the Black Fantastic: Politics and Popular Culture in the Post-Civil Rights Era.” Basically the book is him tracking the ways in which—from the Civil Rights era onward—art is a primary way through which Black people engage in political behavior. Because of the ways in which we’re politically disenfranchised, left out of formal politics in the US, art is our way of subverting law and policy. Art is our way of communicating messages broadly and universally. 

There’s a point in the text where he ranks the different genres of art according to what he thinks is most politically effective. He ranks music as number one—it’s ubiquitous, it can travel, it moves. He lists visual arts, the plastic arts and fine art, as having the least efficacy—not because there’s not things happening, not because artists are not imbuing their works with political ideas, but because these works don’t exist in what he calls “Black vernacular spaces.” So places like Black churches, Black barber shops, home spaces. Because of that, my dissertation project is me trying to explore how we can get people more excited about visual art, and giving them language in order to process and understand it and talk about it. 

So that’s what is connected to the art raffle as well. I wanted to have a democratic way of getting my art out there. $25 per entry can still be steep for somebody. If some of the values for some of these works are like $5,000 or $12,000, if someone can submit something for $25 and have the chance to win, even though the probability can still be skewed in someone’s favor if you buy 30 tickets, it just makes it a more democratic way of people having these art objects in their homes. 

We always talk about the importance of kids growing up with books, but I also think it’s really important that kids grow up with beautiful art objects in their home. Things that they can marvel at, be inspired by, think about themselves differently through. It’s been really special to have people in my life respond to the works and not just say that they’re beautiful—which is still really meaningful to me—but to say “it moved me for this reason.” One of my friends was saying “I hope this doesn’t offend you, but the pink cloth [Friendship and Fried Turkey] feels so heavy and beautiful and sad.” And I’m like “but they’re grief cloths.” That means I was able to translate my grief into the cloth. 

Friendship and Fried Turkey was inspired by a conversation with one of my best friends, who his best friend recently passed away from an illness he was struggling with for awhile that no one knew about. I was just thinking about that a lot. Another friend messaged me “Every time you release a new piece, I’m like okay this is going to go above my baby’s crib, this one can go next to the bookcase.” So to have people envisioning where it can go in their home, that’s what I want. And they all have messages that I think can inspire conversation. 

So that’s where my research is headed. I’m going to be doing a series of collaborations with different friends of mine who are artists and scholars, and then curating an exhibition with all the objects we create, and then seeing how people respond to the works and how it translates in the cultural and social realms.

I do want to talk a little bit about the Interiority of Blk Solitude: A Collection of Grief Cloths. How many have you made? What inspired the project, and what was your process of making each grief cloth? What are the distinct characteristics and meanings behind each cloth?

So I’ve made 8-slash-11. I wanted to do an art raffle to raise money for my mother to get health insurance. That was the initial plan. I didn’t have a vision for this whole project; I was just going to weave 2 cloths. And the day I wove the first one—it’s called At a Magic Hour, it’s a blue piece—I cut the piece off the loom at about 7:50pm. For people who weave, cutting off the loom is a moment. With the physics, the tension, everything is holding it up. So when it’s on the loom everything is straight and wonderful. But then when you cut it off you don’t know if it’ll stretch, if it will warp, if it will actually be flat. And so I cut the piece off the loom. It was really flat, really gorgeous. An hour later I got a phone call that my dad had passed away earlier that evening. There was something about the fact that me cutting the piece of the loom happened simultaneously with him taking his last breath. It’s really eerie to me.

The very next morning, when all the phone calls started coming in, I knew I’d be on the phone a lot that day. So I thought, while I’m not using my hands, let me just be weaving. Then I started working on the second piece called “Our Inheritance.” The last three letters, nce, have italics around them because those are my initials, my dad’s initials, and my brother’s initials. So I was thinking about having had a strange relationship with my dad, having to create my own inheritance, but also his investment in our early childhood. He got us into college access programs and the high school that I got into, that got me into college—I got myself into these places, he wasn’t there for any of these moments, but he was the catalyst. So I was thinking about how those experiences have led me to this point where I’m creating these beautiful things. Even though he wasn’t involved in that process, he planted a seed that allowed me to create my own inheritance because he never gave us money to take care of things like that. 

The last piece was called “That Blackness.” It’s a piece that was inspired by a Nina Simone interview, where someone asked her why she makes the kind of art she makes, and she goes: “I think what you’re asking me is why I’m committed to giving them that Blackness.” She’s emphasizing Blackness and playing around with it, performing this response. Which I thought was so beautiful and compelling. So I made this jet black piece that’s haunting and chilling to look at, which was more so thinking about the general experiences of Black people mourning, grieving, and collective grief. So these three pieces—I made them all in the week that my dad died. The title of that collection is called “At a Magic Hour Our Inheritance was That Blackness.” The titles of each piece create one lyrical title. 

So that was the original goal. And then I went away for a while, went to go see my dad’s body, went on a trip with my dad’s cousin, family, and my sister to get away and do all that stuff. Then I came back and was so inspired by that trip and what I learned about my dad through being there that all those other eight pieces came out. Because now I wanted to make all these different things about different moments of grief. 

I started by making the pride flag piece because I had learned some things that my dad was saying about me and my queerness that I didn’t know about. I learned this after he passed, which made me really disappointed and sad. But then I was thinking about the role that queer folks play in their families, and how we call it pride so much, but it’s actually courage. It’s actually courage first. For me it’s that pride can catalyze courage.

The Willows Weeping Wildly came from me thinking about how I was really hopeful about this relationship I was building with my dad’s cousin, and then all of a sudden an overwhelming sadness came over me: what if they found out I’m queer and they hate me now? 

And then I made the purple piece, which was inspired by the death of Kobe Bryant and all the folks that passed away in that tragedy that day. And what it means to be so iconic where his death stopped the world. He was a Black cultural icon. So many people were reaching out to people they were in conflict with and trying to resolve things. I was thinking about what it means to be iconic in that way where your death inspires people to live fully and live better. That was also the beginning of 2020, before the pandemic had hit the US. It was our first collective grief of the year. So I wanted to create a piece that honored that moment. All of the cloths have their own specific purpose. In total I made 8 of them, and I’m raffling away 7 of them. One of them I’m going to show in this group show this weekend as well. So that’s the inspiration behind the collection.

So At a Magic Hour was the first grief cloth you made?

E: Yes that was part of the first little three, and none of those 3 are being raffled. At first I thought “I want to get rid of these, I don’t want the memory of this here,” but then after awhile I didn’t want to part with it because it’s such a special collection of 3 pieces that is so deeply personal to something related to me. Maybe one day I will get rid of them, but right now I want to hold onto them. They’re one piece in my mind.

When was the most recent cloth made [from the collection being raffled]?

E: It’s the black one with the flowers in it, Perennial Millennials. I added that one maybe three weeks ago to the raffle. I knew I wanted to add one more eventually, in part because at some point I wanted to reignite the raffle, since it was going on for so long. Everytime I weave I try a new thing that will challenge me in some way. It’s not noticeable to other people, it’s very subtle. Sometimes I’ll use plastic here, yarn here. I have all these failed pieces in the corner [points camera at corner of room] and those are ones that are productive failures where I wove them, but I didn’t know that I had to set them in different ways since they have different weights and elasticities. So I would set them all the same but then when I cut them off the loom they would all warp because they have different tensions that would stretch back out. I had to really learn how to set them so they’d all come out flat together. 

With the flowers, that was a new component that I wanted to add, and now I’m making new work with flowers in them, so I’m growing each time. I was just thinking about our experiences as millennials, or at least mine, and the sadness that comes with some of the things we grapple with, and how we move through the world we’ve inherited. And how beautiful I think we are. That’s what I love about these pieces is that the Black experience is one that mediates on joy / pain. One of the pieces for the group show that I have is one of the longest pieces I’ve ever made, it’s 14 feet long and about 16 inches wide. The title of that piece is “Like Joy Needs Pain,” and it’s a lyric from Alicia Keys’ song “I Need You.” So I think about that a lot. These cloths feel beautiful, but they’re also mournful, and they feel heavy and sad, so I want to keep all of that in those pieces at once.

The grief cloths are now available in your first Love Aboundz raffle. What is Love Aboundz? What is the significance of the raffle?

“Love Aboundz” was the name of my first solo exhibition in 2018. So all these pieces I’m showing you were pieces created for that. And what was so cool about that experience was that I didn’t know how to make a lot of those things when I had the idea to make the show.

And so over the course of nine months I was collaborating, using a lot of maker spaces. I would meet a friend who would say ‘oh my husband has a wood shop in his basement.’ And so he was the one who helped me learn how to make those [wood] pieces. I’m very collaborative in my approach to learning. Even though I’m not formally trained, the way I learn is through collaborating. I learn best from being in relationship to other people— that’s the way that my brain is most activated.

This is another piece [shows me an image of an intricately made, full body outfit]. The top is woven and then I stitched this skirt together into this pant situation, so it looks a little like a Nigerian masquerade. It’s called “Wounded Warrior Soldier of Love.”

Can you tell us a little about your upcoming group show?

I’m in a group show this weekend and I’m contributing 4 pieces. [points his camera down to the floor] This is the latest piece I’m making: it’s plastic in the warp and inside is metallic cord in the weft. It has a really cool shine to it. I’ve been working with these floral arrangements recently too. So all these flowers you see here are going to make it into the sculpted piece in the end.