Tuesday, December 25, 2007
St Francis of the Woods. My husband and I collaborated on this piece. Cairo is a very talented woodworker, and he carved the niche in the log , as well as the cross that graces the top. I designed the piece, painted the Santo, and carved the relief crosses in the bottom portion of the piece. 21" diameter and 28" tall. SOLD
Angel of Mercy was great fun to put together. I began with a series of tiles fashioned from polymer clay. I took the images from molds I had made from 200 year old Russian brass icons, and painted them with acrylics. They were glued to a support of mat board and plywood. I made the face and hands out of the clay also, and the body is an old tin ceiling tile that was liberated from pre-Katrina New Orleans. 12" x 14 1/2"
Old Timers' Cafe came together so easily, it almost made itself. The support piece is the back of a foundry mold which I hauled back from Virgina. The old photos were picked up in an antique shop in Richmond, and the clock came from a junk store in this area, as did the wooden alphabet block. The rusty bottle cap and screen door hook are bits of Katrina debris from my backyard.
Mystic Doll features two necklaces which may be removed from the piece. The doll figure of the central necklace was purchased in a Fair Trade store; it was made in Africa. I added the beads for the hair. The other necklace has beads of glass and lapis chips, as well as glass charms. The support is made from paper I have painted, as well as handmade papers, mounted on a plywood support, and glass "beach stones". 21" x 12"
"Ghost Shirt" is a mixed media construction which incorporates wood, leather, nails, seed pods, African carved and painted face, horsehair, tin cones, bovine teeth, and beads of bone, glass and shell, as well as African trade beads. It is inspired by the Ghost dance movement which swept the indigenous peoples of the Northern Plains in the late 1800s. The piece combines "wall art" with "wearable art" in that it features a removable neckpiece.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Zodiac features three removable neck pieces. It was created from two pieces of plywood supports which were covered with a variety of hand made papers and coated with medium. The face of the figure was formed from polymer clay and painted with acrylics, and mounted on top of a brass crab which my friend Brenda recovered from her property after Katrina. The Body was once a tin ceiling tile that graced a house in pre-Katrina New Orleans. The arms are fragments of one of my bracelets which my husband found in the back almost a year after Katrina, and the leaves were taken from a smashed basket. The neck pieces include beads of stone, glass, and acrylic, as well as African brass kirdi beads and African trade beads, and a Chinese coin. 28" x 28" SOLD
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Ghost Dance is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina, one of the few pieces of art with which I evacuated. It is the first one of a series I did about the Ghost Dance phenomenon. Growing up in South Dakota, I was heavily influenced by the culture of the Plains Indians. My fascination with Native culture is apparent in much of my work, and especially in this series.
I began this piece with an unusually shaped scrap of iron I picked up in a salvage yard. I layered the metal with a thin silver piece of sheet metal, an oversized reproduction of an Indian Head penny, a cylindrical metal choker and another odd shaped piece of metal, a hoop of copper tubing and sheet metal copper cut in the shape of sun rays, two metal Turkish crosses, a bent fork, and copper flashing strips and nails. The beads are of stone, glass and ploymer clay, and the support for the piece is painted plywood.
The Ghost Dance was a phenomenon which swept the Western Native American communities in the late 1800s. It began when a Paiute prophet named Wovoka prophesied a nonviolent end to white American expansion while preaching messages of clean living, an honest life, and cross-cultural cooperation. During a vision, Wovoka stated that he was given the Ghost Dance and commanded to bring it back to his people. He preached that if this five day dance was performed in the proper intervals, the performers would secure their happiness and hasten the reunion of the living and deceased. As the Ghost Dance spread from its original source, Native American tribes synthesized selective aspects of the ritual with their own beliefs–often creating change in both the society that integrated it and the ritual itself.
The Lakota interpretation of Wovoka's message was drawn from the idea of a “renewed Earth” in which all evil was to be washed away, including the European presence on their homelands. By 1890, this seemed to be the only way out of a desperate situation, and the Ghost Dance began to be performed frequently among the Lakota. The dances alarmed many reservation officials, and troops US troops were called in to discourage the events. On December 28, a small band of Sioux erected their tipis on the banks of Wounded Knee Creek. The following day, US forces opened fire on the camp. When the fighting had concluded, 25 U.S. soldiers and 153 Lakota-mostly women and children- lay dead. The Massacre at Wounded Knee effectively ended the Ghost Dance phenomenon, and Native resistance on the Plains.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
"Lakota" was a mixed media construction which was built around a traditional, ceremonial "dance stick" of the Lakota people. It was comprised of wood, leather, trade cloth, copper, acrylic, buffalo teeth, feathers, and beads of glass and bone, including some old trade beads. It featured a removable neckpiece with beads of bone, glass, wood, and old African trade beads. Adios to this one too.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
"Three Virtues of a Chinese Gentleman" was a mixed media construction which included handmade paper, wood, carved bone, turquoise, amber, African brass kirdi beads, Chinese coins, and sterling silver beads from Asia. It featured a removable neckpiece for personal adornment. It was another one of Katrina's victims.
"Totem" is still with me. I evacuated with this one because it was one of my favorites, and it has been in storage ever since Katrina. It is a mixed media construction which includes trade cloth, burlap, turtle shell, pottery shards, old brass thimbles, Indian head pennies, feather, and beads of glass, turquoise and amber. Much of the inspiration for this piece comes from the Lakota culture of the Northern Plains. The turtle symbolized long life for the Lakota, and and the trade cloth, thimbles, and beads were important elements in the people's economic well being in the 1800s. It features a removable neckpiece for personal adornment.
Monday, January 1, 2007
Icon and Altar began with the small three paneled folding icon. I placed it on top of an altar fashioned from polymer clay, and nestled in a niche formed from a box salvaged from a Katrina debris pile. The support for the piece is plywood, and the small icons are of polymer clay. 15" x 19" x4" SOLD
Angst of the Artist. I created this tongue-in-cheek piece for a fundraiser. Artists were supplied with a plywood mask form and asked to build a piece from that. I pretty much hid the mask behind feathers made from painted canvas, and attached a wood doll to the front. The doll represents the artist, offering her work to the viewer. Her wings represent her wish that her work soar, but behind the feathers, in the eye holes of the mask, are two polymer clay faces which reveal self-doubt and insecurity. I meant for this piece to poke fun at myself and other artists and in a larger sense, to help us to remember that while the creation of our art may be personally satisfying, it ain't a solution for world peace and it ain't a cure for cancer. SOLD