Happy Labor Day, folks! You’re looking at an art installation by Rachel Simone Weil, who I interviewed last month right here at Mirror80. This past Friday I went to an open studio at Mass Gallery in Austin and was able to see her display of ’80s and ’90s femme arcade ephemera (I’ll share more details below). Throw in a lovely visit with my Mom-in-Law, some modern landscaping, and a few new blogging endeavors, and I’ve enjoyed a picture-perfect holiday weekend…
Open Studio: Rachel Simone Weil
About Rachel’s collection of treasures… the pastel arcade game you see above was crafted by Rachel with the help of supplies such as chicken wire and tissue paper. Her work is fascinating because it re-imagines a past that never existed. While there were cultural artifacts in Rachel’s collection that were very much a part of reality (see below), there were others that evoked a fictional past in which “girly” arcades shaped video game culture in the ’80s and ’90s.
Rachel’s artist statement from the installation includes her design inspirations: “Icchoume Playland in Tokyo, Barbie Doll furniture, and childhood memories of laundromats, arcades, slumber parties, and used-car lots.” Her collection of arcade tokens, stickers and other ephemera (most of which she created for the event) “ask viewers to wonder what a ‘girly arcade’ of the 1980s or 1990s might have looked like and how these spaces—had they existed at all—could have altered the current landscape of video game nostalgia and collecting.”
Needless to say, it was pretty thrilling to live in Rachel’s version of the past, even if just for an evening!
In other weekend news, I’m basically one of those weird people who loves yardwork. Yes, I love being outside, I love creating plantscapes in my yard, and I love figuring out ways to make an outdoor space look interesting. This weekend I took on a big project: I filled in my front yard with gravel. Previously there had been river rocks, which didn’t fully cover the soil, trapped leaves and other debris, and pretty much looked sloppy on any given day. I replaced them with pea gravel, shown above and below.
I’m not going to lie—it wasn’t pretty. Even though I wore gloves, I was cut by the blue agave plants on more than one occasion. I unloaded 880 pounds of bagged gravel from my car before the process was finished. It was one of the hottest weekends of the year, so I had to work for 1-2 early morning hours over a 4-day period. And I pretty much went through 2 changes of clothing each work session, was covered it dirt, and was poked (in my nostrils) by a few long strands of wild grass before all was said and done. Weird, right?
But I loved every minute of it! And the yard looks so much more polished now. I’m a huge fan of modern landscaping, so the project has been a long time coming.
In Blogging News…
And last but not least, I’ve been making some plans for the blog! Weekends are a time when I get a lot of creative inspiration. For starters, I’ve been talking about learning Photoshop for years, and it’s clear that I’m not using my DSLR camera up to its full capacity. So I purchased two online classes from A Beautiful Mess, and I was lucky to get a 2-in-1 deal for both the Photoshop for Bloggers and DSLR Basics classes (in one fabulous bundle). I can’t wait to get started and take Mirror80 up a notch (or ten)!
I’ve been shopping for more ’80s design books so I can share even more fabulous retro inspiration with all of you. This book (available through Amazon) is my current top choice:
And last but not least, I’m working on a new Retro Foodie party concept based on the 1991 film Soapdish. This movie is packed with late ’80s/early ’90s flair, and there’s a crazy-good blend of Memphis and Deco motifs. Here’s a screen shot from the opening credits:
I hope you all have a relaxing Labor Day! I’ll be back Wednesday with a new post. Until then, let me know about your creative endeavors by leaving a comment below…