Sunday, February 19, 2006

Meant To Be

My art rep, Katherine, is putting some stuff together for me this evening. We've been writing back and forth about the images, and inventory lists, shows, etc... She hasn't seen some of my newest works in person as yet and needed some more info. I have avoided talking much about one piece, because the subject can be so very painful, but it became clear that it was time. This is the letter I wrote to her-made all the harder because she has a newborn. I worried about how this would feel on the other end. For all the major life struggles I have come through, I have a good dose of survivors guilt too and try not to beat people up with my pain. However, I am fond of saying... All's fair in love and war--and art.

I'm reposting the pics to help make sense of the experience.


I think I should explain, but it may not be easy on either one of us. It is a very bitter piece.

They, they embryos of our dead children, rest on the floor as in the full length shot.. They originated from the square piece on the wall and have now "fallen" to the floor and are there where they will get stepped on by the audiende. You know.. .much like our hopes and dreams for our children. The image on the wall is a uterus. The quilt is an actual round-robin, quilted recieving blanket that a group of women made for me the time I was pregnant with our twins. I was pregnant 4 times and lost 5 children. I had put the quilt in a drawer in my bedroom for years intending to keep it as a trubute to their kindness and our children, but I would often wake up knowing that it was there in adrawer tucked away--taunting me it seemed. I would hear those things in my head whenever I thought of it and it often came to me as my first waking thought in the morning.

One day last semester, I had enough presence of mind to realize that it wasn't helping me to keep it and the image of this piece came to me all at once.

The wall piece has embroidered in it all the cruel things people said to me when I would miscarry like "It must have been God's will", "You can always adopt", "You can have other children", "Cheer Up", "You never really wanted children anyay"... I hoped to dump the culpability for the unintended (?) cruelties back in my audiences' lap and hopefully make them think.. If someone inadervantly steps on one of the embryos, the beads will make a rather sickly crunching noise-much like squshing a large bug and my intention is to tie their horror at their action--the destruction of the work--back to the horror of the loss itself.

*sigh... * I hope you're not sorry you asked. I do think it is one of the strongest works I have ever done and I intend to show it at the (Alamosa) art walk.

When I showed it grad review, it was interesting to watch even seasoned art viewers reactions... Most people really want to put the embryos back into the quilt from which they were seperated. Others were simply very careful not to walk on it or get too close. It all works and it all involves the audience directly which I find very powerful.

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