“Why not?”

I remember asking my father this question after he adamantly refused to buy me a pair of roller-skates one August day roughly 13 years ago. I had just started the first grade and the idea of traversing the half mile between my elementary school and my home on a set of wheels attached to my own two feet thrilled me. It wasn’t long before the ghostly click of plastic on concrete kept me awake during mandatory naptimes. It was during one such sleepless stint that I decided to solve the roller-skate dilemma by making my own pair of roller-skates. My parents were stunned to find me rolling through my house later that afternoon, on a pair of skates I hastily crafted after school with a pair of boots, two toy cars, and a handful of rubber bands.

I have always been driven by creativity. I am happiest when I am physically creating things or imagining how to create things. Working with my hands, employing odd materials, and using my imagination as a way to solve problems has always come naturally to me. I consider the roller skates I crafted during the fall of my sixth year to be my first real “sculpture” or “work of art.” Hundreds of creations have followed, often adhering to a “wearable” theme: small purses made from envelopes and yarn, headbands made from recycled fabric, sandals made from tape and cardboard, and a dress made out of kabob skewers. I currently love dissecting articles of clothing to see how the pieces comprising a t-shirt or pair of pants work together. From here, I create patterns which I use to make unique pieces clothing. It is this continuous act of dissection and creation which gives me total joy.

While I’ve found sketching and observing the natural world to be immediate sources of stress-relief, I still find a good set of wheels to be the best therapy. Instead of rolling down streets and hallways on a pair of homemade skates, however, I prefer to ride my bike. My favorite thing to do is to combine this sense of freedom with my driving sense of creativity. On any given weekend, you can find me pedaling through Davidson and Cornelius, happily hunting for unique fabrics in thrift stores or odd objects at abandoned locations.

5 Comments on “Maura”

  1. Maura, you must be Mina Loy’s secret soul mate. Later in her life, she combed the streets of the Bowery, gathering debris and abandoned objects to create her compositions. Remind me to show you some of the images of the few of her compositions that have survived. She also designed clothing and toys and lampshades. I love to make stuff too, but my best genre is cardboard and tape. When my kids were little I made their Halloween costumes, turning a box into a train that they carried on their shoulders with suspenders, wearing engineer hats. My great life work, now destroyed, was a kindergartener-sized Phantom Tollbooth that had a coin box and a moveable barrier for cars passing.

  2. Hi Maura! I’m glad we sit next to each other in class. I love this picture! It feels so adventurous.
    I can’t wait to see more of your art. Maybe you could wear one of your pieces to class some time? 😛

  3. I love roller-blading. Also, you are the crafty person that I will probably never be, but love to be around. Side-note: I collect costumes and would love to work and create one with you! But anyway, the most interesting thing about your post to me is the question “why not?” This is a question my dad and I ask each other all the time. We are both people with big ideas who love creating things and finding talented and unique people to help accomplish them. You appear to be one of those talented people that others search for to help make their ideas become a reality, you are often just the missing piece that they need. Don’t lose sight of that, you can do so much with a mind like that.

  4. Hey Maura! Your approach of using an anecdote from your childhood is a really effective way of communicating your identity and interests. That choice reveals a lot of personality and gives this piece an engaging structure. Like Sarah, I’m excited to see your other projects. Hopefully our class will be an environment conducive to your brand of creativity and love for exploration. I look forward to seeing what you will create!

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