Friday, February 17, 2017
I just happened to turn on the TV and see a very good documentary on Mardi Gras Indians called Spirit Leads My Needle.
I was inspired by the stories of how and why people (in this case, black men from New Orleans, Louisiana, USA) expend their time and money to make this wonderful art.
One of the best things about making art, especially if you don’t profit much from it, is realizing you enjoy the process. I think my favorite part of this show was listening to the participants talk about the details of sewing. I never want to sew anything more than a button (and I don’t want to do that) but I liked hearing these men, who have intricate political problems that are related to their status as artists/community influencers, break down the work of an Indian to the details of sewing beads.
The show helps answer the question of why people continue to make art that can’t be sold or even easily displayed without their presence: because it is amazing, and to have done it makes you amazing, with the rewards that presumably come from that.
Good show, and thanks to people from Ohio State University for making it.