I’ve reworked this piece. I shared a photo of it last year when I’d prepared it for a show and then realized that there was a problem.
In the end it was a good thing. Having time to rework it meant that I added quite a few more layers of glitter, thread, and paint. It’s better for them.
I still envision it as a kind of mystical creature surrounding the little boy and girl and suspending them in the air–a mystical creature made of discarded materials, comical googly eyes, and a mass of glue.
It continues to be an exploration of the things that we collect, the way that we relate to them, and the way that we project ourselves onto them.
I kept the original title of the piece. Someone remarked that the glittery circle is reminiscent of Ezekiel’s vision of a wheel covered in eyes, which I liked. The inspiration for the piece hadn’t been the Bible verse, but I decided to make a reference to the folk song “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel” by titling the piece “Way Up in the Middle of the Air”.
The piece measures 9″ square and is about 3″ deep.
Continuing on the theme of small creatures created from scraps and detritus, here’s a slightly larger creature. It’s currently on display at One Life Church in Evansville as part of an exhibit of artwork inspired by Places.
This piece is 2″ wide and deep but about 6″ tall. Like the previous piece, it has a little propeller that spins. I’ve had fun exhibiting these creatures within glass display cases that add to the appearance that they are collected specimens.
A couple weeks ago, the sound of the cicadas was deafening. For a piece earlier this summer, I’d felt lucky to have found a single cicada shell, but I decided to look again after having my ears assaulted. This time, I came up with quite a collection.
I’d wanted to make a piece for a local recycled art show, so I used the cicadas as an inspiration, building a kind of mandala from them and some crazy lenticular eyes I’d picked up at the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. Throw in some old buttons, wedding confetti I picked off the ground in Germany, old doilies, beads, pins, sequins, and thread, and it’s a writhing dance of empty shells and eyeballs.
This is the third of three Relics that I made recently. This one is made from two beaded tomatillo husks, thread, a thread spool, an old button, and a weird metal hand from somewhere or other.
I collected the tomatillo husks from the ground in my garden. It was interesting to me how much they softened and didn’t break the more I worked with them as I added beads. By the end, they had started to resemble loosely woven fabric, not brittle leaf veins.
This is the second of three objects that make up the piece I got accepted into the Working Together show. I’d done the previous one first and working with the tomatillo husks got me thinking about turning husks into precious objects.
That made me think of cicada shells that you find on tree trunks, which made me wish I’d collected some. No worries, right? The cicadas were emerging and I’d find one with no problem. Except they’re one of those things that you always run across–until you want one.
Finally one turned up on one of my apple trees so I could experiment with a different kind of husk. Other materials in this piece are a vintage powder puff, beads, cast off silk thread, old jewelry bits, and a gold-leafed button.