In November, my back began paining me, and I had some difficulty with putting on my socks, let alone being in the mosaic studio. I was in distress, both physically, and emotionally, wondering if my transition to full time in the studio since 2010 was contributing to my back pain. I remembered my choir director mentioning the Alexander Technique, and searched for teachers online. Serendipitously, there was an Alexander teacher only 1/2 hour away, who is also an artist. Ted Hallman has been creating innovative textile art since the mid 20th Century.
Currently, one of Ted’s fiber sculptures is on exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Perelman Building. The Inner Tree is eloquently described by Rebecca Saionz, “Knotted acrylic yarns over steel armature form a tree whose branches have a netted basket-like quality. The piece assumes a striking fragility, neither holding itself up, nor completely dangling from the ceiling.” Stratoz and I went to see it last month, and I was struck how the sculpture conveyed a sense of what I experience in Alexander lessons, the concept of feet rooted on the ground, and the head up, as if with the help of invisible threads. I like the image of an inner tree reaching for the sky, while rooted in the earth.
Alexander teacher, Robert Rickover, invited me to record an interview about my experience with the Alexander Technique as an artist, and I was glad to be able to share some of what has helped me become aware of how I am using my body, and the possibility of ease in the studio. Robert maintains an extensive website called The Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique, which is a great place to start to learn more, as is his Alexander Audio with specific applications of the technique.
For visual enjoyment of Alexander concepts, check out my Alexander Technique Pinterest Board.
The Inner Tree on display in the Secret Garden exhibit in Philadelphia through July 2012.