For twelve months, I worked closely with Portland Edible Gardens to film and edit a series of educational videos to help the eager and hungry gardener get a leg up on their own backyard veggie market.
I have Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS).
MdDS is a rare, neurological disorder that manifests as constant dizziness or perception of rocking, bobbing or swaying. MdDS is a different kind of spatial disorientation than vertigo. It’s not vestibular, it’s neurological. The dizziness that I live with feels more like the ground is constantly moving under my feet. Laying down or closing my eyes does not make it stop. Whatever surface I’m on turns to liquid and my equilibrium is constantly trying to correct for it. Ironically, being in passive motion is the only source of relief. Driving in a car is bliss to many suffering from MdDS…until we reach a stop sign.
I don’t remember the exact moment I discovered needle felting, but it changed my life. It’s a fiber art of the most rudimentary, free-form kind. By repetitively piercing wool fibers with a sharp, barbed needle it compresses the loose fibers into a solid mass…sculpting with wool. Perhaps it was the repetition of the needlework, or the quiet, muffled qualities of the wool, but I found I could lose myself in it. For hours on end. The ground didn’t stop moving, but focusing on the object in my hands helped drown it out. Needle felting became my medicine.
What emerged at the other end of thousands of hours of shaping wool with a needle was 13 hairless cats. This was not the plan. It just happened. Somewhere along the journey I realized I was telling my story, not with words on paper, but with wool and cats, each sculpture a chapter in my wobbly journey. There are aspects I can quantify. Others I can’t. I don’t know why one is turquoise, another one yellow. I don’t know how the scale came about. What I do know is that after living on a sea of constant motion, these felines became a life raft for me. Not just the act of creating them but also what they came to represent. I know that I may never reach shore. But the raft and my companions have helped me not just survive, but thrive during the most merciless of storms.
To read more about my journey with MdDS go to: www.liferaftmdds.com
While watching lifeguards perform rescue drills at a neighborhood pool, a woman faces her own need to be saved.
writer, director, production designer
OFFICIAL SELECTION at POW Festival, Portland, OR - March 2012
OFFICIAL SELECTION at Aesthetica Short Film Festival, York, United Kingdom - November 2012
OFFICIAL SELECTION at Brisbane International Film Festival, Brisbane, Australia - November 2012
OFFICIAL SELECTION at NW Filmmakers Film Festival, Portland, OR - November 2012
OFFICIAL SELECTION at Light Assembly Film Festival, Miami, Florida- December 2012
OFFICIAL SELECTION at Portland International Film Festival, Portland, OR - February 2013
OFFICIAL SELECTION at iShorts, Prague, Czech Republic - June 2013
OFFICIAL SELECTION Women's Independent Film Festival, Santa Monica, CA - December 2013
Standing on the threshold between innocence and experience, a young ballerina glimpses a hidden truth about her future as she teeters between light and dark, order and chaos. 9 is a coming of age tale about the mysterious and sometimes frightening initiations that usher us into our becoming.
writer, directer, producer
BEST OREGON SHORT FILM - Portland International Film Festival, Portland, OR - February 2014
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Portland Oregon Women's Film Festival, Portland, OR - March 2014
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Dances With Films, Hollywood, CA - June 2014
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Salento International Film Festival, Salento, Italy - June 2014
OFFICIAL SELECTION - NW Film Forum - Local Sightings Festival, Seattle, WA - October 2014
OFFICIAL SELECTION - San Fransisco Dance Film Festival, San Francisco, CA - November 2014
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Working Art Space and Production Festival, Romania - March 2015
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Cabriolet Film Festival, Beirut, Lebanon - May 2015
Music Changes Everything documents the lives, adventures and performances of underserved children involved in an intensive classical musical education program in Portland, OR.
This little book is a visionary compass generated for Microsoft and the billions of lives touched by their work. My partner (David McLaughlin) and I were summoned to brainstorm, think big, write poetry and imagineer a manifesto that would inspire the internal creative teams to view themselves as humanists first, technologists second.
Here is what now lives in the back pockets of the designers and engineers at Microsoft. Word has it that even the CEO Satya Nadella has a copy on his desk.
All copy, imagery and video generated by myself and David McLaughlin.
Follow my instagram @woolishly or email me if you’re interested in a commissioned sculpture.