"Good friends are like stars...You don't always see them, but you know they are always there."
Taken from Daniella's blog:
From The Maxims of Marcel Proust.
"Only through art can we get outside of ourselves and know another's view of the universe which is not the same as ours and see landscapes which would otherwise have remained unknown to us like the landscapes of the moon. Thanks to art, instead of seeing a single world, our own, we see it multiply until we have before us as many worlds as there are original artists...And many centuries after their core, whether we call it Rembrandt or Vermeer, is extinguished, they continue to send us their special rays."
Early works of Daniella Woolf
28 Tonite Set Cyclorama for KCET TV in 1976.300 Running Feet 22 feet high, 10,000 yards of Burlap.
Grand Ballroom of the Los Angeles Bonaventure Hotel.Architect John Portman Associates. 600 yards of Silk-Daniella holding a bolt of silk.
Here is a little about our history:
All three of us met in the early 1970's when we were beginning our Master's program in Textile Design. Specifically we were working in the area of Fiber Arts. It was an explosive, emerging era for Fiber Artists on an international scale. Exciting times for young art students like us. Things were changing in the world of weaving and I mean changing in a vast way. Although we were trained on looms in the traditional manner of warps and woofs and dressing looms our visions were being challenged to take traditional weaving to incredible extremes. The photos of Daniella's work in the early 1970's reflect what was happening in the world of "weaving" and on a larger scale with "off-loom fiber sculptures". Non-traditional materials began appearing. Huge ropes like those seen on tug boats, materials like sisal and jute and plastic tubing were utilized. We had large barrels in which we dyed yarns, ropes and all kinds of materials. At the time I was creating whole room environments by knitting on tubular needles that I had constructed out of garden hoses. My environment was made from reams of clear plastic tape. Within my sculptural environment hung clear hand blown glass that I had created in the glass blowing labs. So this was a time of experimenting for all of us. You could find us all working merrily on our projects in the studio we shared. We referred to this campus hideaway lovingly as "The Weavery". There we spent many late hours, each weaving, braiding, plaiting, crochetting, wrapping magical materials into incredible sculptural pieces. This is how our friendships were born so long ago. Spending hours upon hours, months into years working and playing and talking and laughing ,crying, eating, pouring our hearts out to one another. Such a rich time in our young lives when we were etching out who we would become from our young souls who knew not yet, who we really were. In those years, we struggled together, studied and worked on projects, talked endless hours about our art work, the directions our lives should go, our dreams, our loves and so on. We also travelled on endless trips near and far together. Many, many trips up to San Francisco and further.
On my first trip to Europe I was travelling with two cousins and their friend. En route to London my cousins were laughingly telling their friend that it seemed like everywhere we went in LA. that I knew someone. Of course this wasn't true but that's just the way it appeared to them. The funny thing was that shortly after landing at Gatwick airport we were on a train to Victoria Station. Just as we were getting off the train I stepped onto the platform and looked up to see of all people "Yael". At that exact moment their eyes caught mine. "Hi Yael, Hi Joey!" I say and it seems the most normal of occurrences to see them. Only here we are arriving someplace on the other side of the world for the very first time. My cousins look at their friend and say, "See, we told you she knows someone everywhere we go!" It is a funny memory Yael and I laughed about over dinner.
There was also the Winter break that Yael, Daniella and I spent together on the east coast. Daniella and I spent Christmas in Washington D.C., then took the train to meet up with Yael for New Year's Eve in NYC. Then the three of us headed up to Boston together. Great memories we were able to relive.
Where they are now
Yael lives in a lovely, tranquil garden setting on an acre of land in Arcata California. Throughout the years she has always been a working artist. She married Joey the boyfriend she was with when I saw her in London. They have two grown beautiful children. Her incredible artwork can be seen on her website. http://yaelbentovim.com/
Do take a look. She derives much of her pleasure and ideas from her garden. I think you will see this reflected in her recent glass mosaics. She is currently working with mosaic panel pieces. They are ethereal and magical. She has created many such panels for her clients. These panels which dance with color, reflect the nature she sees all around her. Yael has always been a very special person in my life. She has believed in me and supported me thoughout our friendship. She is a true, blue friend. She has been such a strong role model for me, a survivor, a fighter and someone who never gives up. She is full of fire and independence and strength. Read her bio in her blog. You'll be amazed at all she's done. We were fast friends soon after meeting and somehow found in our differences a great compliment to each other.
Daniella divides her time between her homes in Santa Cruz and on Whidbey island. She is a successful working artist and teacher. Through the years her work has evolved and transformed through the use of many mediums. She is currently greatly involved in an art form known as "encaustics." You can learn all about this through her blogs and can even take a workshop from her which I recommend. She's teaching encaustic techniques at a four day workshop in a gallery on La Cienega this week in Los Angeles and workshops throughout the year in places around the country. It is wonderful to be reconnected with Daniella. She is every bit the firecracker, creative genius that made us laugh and added such support to our lives way back so many years ago. Lovely to see her continually creating art for the world to enjoy. See her current work and learn all about what she does on her website and blogs: http://www.daniellawoolf.com/
As for me, most of you know what I've been up to for the past three decades. I stayed in academia working at UCLA during and after graduation for ten years, not in Art but oddly enough in the Physics department. There I met Mike and after his graduation we married, had our two wonderful daughters and began our family life in Long Beach. I consider it really fortunate that I was able to stay at home while the girls were little. When Athena was in 2nd grade I started substitute teaching and then eventually worked myself into a full time teaching position with Special needs children. Life takes us to strange and wonderful unexpected places. I had never thought I would teach but it became a very significant part of my life. And though I no longer teach full time I continue to teach regularly in a substitue position and often for the Special needs students I love. I feel great joy and happiness in life and have always considered myself so fortunate for my many blessings. My art background has always stayed in my heart. I appreciate great art whether it be in some lovely gallery, grand museum or displayed through the talents of those I know and love be they beginners or quite accomplished. For myself my art work is tucked away in a place that feels like many lifetimes ago. I'll dig out photos and show you what I use to do sometime in some future post. Funny how our paths can start out one way and end up another. You just never know do you?
Life is a wonderful journey.
The other night with three old friends,
proved that true once again.