Born and bred in NYC, then years in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts and the midwest. I retired in 2012 from the Design Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where for 30 years I taught courses in textile and fashion history and appreciation; material culture; world dress; global perspectives on design and culture; and design thinking and problem-solving. I have a Ph.D. in design history, and my scholarly research focused on textiles and related aspects of the material world and the designed environment—I was always looking at the meanings of objects in people’s lives, particularly in relation to women and the domestic realms. I am a prolific writer. My most recent work, Textiles: The Whole Story: Uses, Meanings, Significance (Thames & Hudson 2011; AKA The Fiber of Our Lives: Why Textiles Matter) is a beautifully illustrated art book that approaches the subject comprehensively, across the world and across time. Previous books include The Saturated World: Aesthetic Meaning, Intimate Objects, Women’s Lives; Bazaars and Fair Ladies: The History of the American Fundraising Fair; Shaker Textile Arts; and Feltmaking: Traditions, Techniques and Contemporary Explorations. I've also written dozens of articles ranging from studies of individual artists to the history and meanings of quilts, fashion (including blue jeans), dress-up, beadwork, crepe paper, souvenirs, and even a “backstage women’s space” --a community bathroom in the building where I worked. In addition to the university, I have worked in museums as an exhibit curator and textile interpreter. My years at Hancock Shaker Village (Pittsfield, Mass.) had much to do with leading me to my passion for investigating meanings of the designed environment. Meditation and working with spiritual unfolding has always been important to me. I graduated from the Inner Focus school of Advanced Energy Healing in the 1990s. A passion I can pursue now now that I am retired from the university is my work as a practicing artist. I started in the late 1960s as a weaver and fiber artist, but my current work involves reconfiguration and recontextualization—repositioning and reusing images in SoulCollage®, and reimaginging natural materials such as bone, shell, kelp, and pods as I work them into sculptural figures and assemblages which are often figural and totemic. I have been applying the SoulCollage® dialogue (I am one who) process to my own artwork and am amazed at the further depth and revelations it brings. Visit my website, www.beverlygordon.info to see some of my pieces (and my poetry too).
Because I am interested in helping everyone access and follow their own inner guidance or intuitive voice, I sometimes name my workshops "Intuition Through Imagery" or "Accessing Our Inner Guidance," since the inner journey is what I most emphasize with this process. I bring to it my experience with imaginal writing, totemic art, shamanism, dreamwork and energy healing (I graduated from the Inner Focus school of Advanced Energy Healing in the 1990s, and have done dreamwork and shamanic training with Myron Eshowsky and Robert Moss, and am a hospice volunteer). I see my SoulCollage® facilitation as part of my larger spiritual path and my work of service, and try to infuse all of it with an awareness of the magic in everyday life. I am constantly delighted by the way SoulCollage® helps us with our inner guidance in such a direct, powerful and easy way. I always come back to the magic: the way that certain images call to us (often despite our resistance) and show us what they want us to know; the way the card readings can keep taking us deeper and deeper. This delight, this magic, and the real understanding that we can trust the process, is what I share and find coming back a hundred-fold. Many of my workshops appeal to those who are already exploring the inner world-- those committed to active dreaming, for example, to art as personal exploration, or to a particular spiritual approach--but the process is also a wonderful way for individuals who have no experience in that realm to find their way into the inner world. I invite everyone to participate, and am repeatedly told I have a gentle, helpful facilitation style. SoulCollage® can be combined with writing, movement and other kinds of exploratory processes that can help us navigate. I would be happy to create special workshops or work with individuals upon request. I am also excited about using SoulCollage® with existing groups--e.g., facilitating workships with staff members in a particular organization or women in an ongoing support group. I offer my services for groups that want to find guidance about/insights into their work together.