Handheld Objects Hold Power
Don’t go it alone. Take one with you.
June Woest longs to travel and tires of doomsday weather predictions. She makes ceramic sculptures that are the subjects for her prints on glass, metal,and paper. She gifts her audience with images and objects to navigate whatever of the facts of true weather conditions
She teaches art history and visual culture and possesses practical skills in ceramics, photography, drawing, and printmaking.
Rain or Shine
I imagine myself a master manipulator of the weather. The mixed media remote controllers i make let me dream of traveling anywhere, in all kinds of weather. Disruptions due to extreme weather occurs frequently enough now that peoples’ plans and livelihoods are daily thrown about. Very recently a day of blustery winds in South Texas, set into motion a cascade of events that sidelined 1500 American Airline flights nationally for four days.
Confronting the climate derives from a an outdoor resilience to weather, as a child in Kansas, on farmland first plowed by my grandfather’s horses. In Kansas I walked in wheat fields and slid in the snow on city sidewalks. I stepped over bumpy outcroppings of limestone rock and heard family members begrudge Juniper trees as ugly weeds because of their thirsty root systems.
Planning for what the weather might bring implied a long look at one grand aspect of a personal nature over which I had more control- my anxiety. I faced tornados and grew up weather hearty. I watched the ladies resist strong wind storms wearing headscarves. I wasn’t aware then of how responsible Kansans felt a greater task before them- growing enough food to feed the world. I was reminded there were children starving in China and to clean my plate. I learned to watch the weather, the sky. Being observant, I learned lessons by looking, listening, touching the rain, wind, heat, and snow.
Where I live now and call home is Houston, Texas. Most every day is soaked in humidity and heat. This year, 2021 was different...I saw fronds on tall palms blanketed in snow. The Texas grid system, wasn't prepared either for those four days of freezing cold, temperatures. Even the leaves on my indoor African violet suffered frostbite. And the years before that, you ask? A once-in-a-hundred-year flood happened two years in a row with a once in five-hundred-year flood following those.
The question remains for me whether getting in a car when it starts to rain is safe. Our bayou waters can rise quickly in freeway underpasses and racing canoe to a street rescue is dangerous.
With extreme weather more common, normal travel has become more complicated. Factor in a world-wide health pandemic, and my desire to travel is more like planning an escape. It's why making weather changing remote controllers hold an appeal- they allow me to imagine the very best is possible.
My Travel Plans Have Changed