BRAZOS TACOS RECLAIMED FABRIC INSTALLATION - MARCH 2017 AND ON

 

If you live in Charlottesville, VA you should definitely stop by Brazos Tacos in the IX Building for a breakfast, lunch or dinner Taco (or three), a Thirsty Thursday $5 margarita or a morning happy hour margarita starting around 7am if you're just getting off a night shift (looking at all you nurses out there) because they're the best. And I'm not just saying that because they now have a mural I made on their wall indefinitely, I loved them before this project! 

I didn't count the fabric ovals I used to create this piece, but I will tell you that it took around 50 hours to cut, nail and sew the fabric for it, and that I had a great time getting to know the staff at Brazos Tacos in the process, and having just a few margaritas while up on the ladder. The pieces on the wall were nailed directly into the wall (the neighbors can vouch for me there) and the process was pretty improvised. I was aware of the general colors I wanted to fade in to but the shape was spur of the moment and the placement of specific fabrics was, too. The circular(ish) iron rod was made by the folks across the art park at Builderbeast, and the curtains hanging on it are reclaimed fabric sewn to muslin. What a project, y'all! I'm pretty happy with the outcome. I hope you enjoy it if you go into Brazos! Don't be afraid to shoot me a note telling me about your experience! 

Caught Past Prime - July/August 2016  

    5,932 rose petals were used to make this piece that measures twelve feet in width and is roughly 8 feet tall. I started collecting petals in January of 2016. The first bunch of roses I pressed came from a friend - a gift at a show I had in January. I couldn’t bear to throw them away, so as they started to hang their heads, I pressed all the petals. While I was pressing the petals for those first roses I got the idea for this installation. In order to get enough rose petals to fill the amount of space I wanted I was going to need a reliable and consistent source, so I went and talked to local florist Hedge Fine Blooms and they agreed to donate the roses that were past their prime and unsalable to this project. No roses were bought with the intention of being used for this project -  was an exercise in using and reevaluating discarded material.

     Every time I went to Hedge to pick up the roses they had waiting for me I was shocked by their beauty. I started to think a lot about our standards, as humans. It’s interesting what our society considers to be an organism’s “prime” – smooth, tight, full of potential. I’m describing a flower bud but the same words can be used to describe the bodies, skins and outlooks of humans during the years we consider to be their prime years. I grew to love these open roses and the buds that had been a little battered during transport and were thrown in with the open blooms – the irregulars and the golden girls. Not only did I find them more beautiful, in the end, than the tight buds, but they were softer, and more confident – showing their full faces. I wanted to do my best to pause their beauty and give them as much of a legacy as possible while still letting them gracefully turn to dust. 

     The aging process of a cut rose in a vase has stages. Some stages in their openness last a matter of days – especially those last moments of heaviness before they start to wither. This project was a lesson for me in aging and being present – not only with the blooms themselves but also in my own life as my mind and body change and approach their potential and fullness. 

 

The installation and opening night at The Ixhibit (or the Box@IX) in the IX Building, Charlottesville VA: 

Describe A Childhood Memory (A Letter Project) - April, 2016

"Describe A Childhood Memory (A Letter Project)" was installed at The Gallerix gallery in the IX warehouse in Charlottesville, VA. It showcased a collection of 40 handwritten letters from anonymous people from all over the world that responded to questions I put out into tumblr in July of 2013 - I shared the link on facebook as well, various times over the course of the year and reblogged my initial tumblr post.

Here are some photos from the installation and opening night (this included a "participation station" where people were encouraged to anonymously answer one of the questions from the project on a flashcard, or to write a story about themselves): 

The questions were the following: 

Today’s date?
Your age?
Your sex?
State of Residence?
1. Describe a childhood memory.
2. Do you consider yourself a good liar?
3. What makes a “successful” person, to you?
4. Do you feel you are living life to the fullest?
5. Describe something that you were once afraid of doing, but did anyway.
6. Describe a dream that you’ll never forget (could be a sleep-dream, a day-dream or a goal).
7. Which part of your body do you like the most? The least?
8. Describe something about yourself or something that you’ve accomplished that you’re proud of.
9. Do you have health insurance?
10. If you could travel anywhere for two weeks for free, where would you go?
11. What is love for you? How many times have you felt “in love?” Are you in love now?
12. What is your favorite time of day?
13. How do you sleep?
14. Describe something you haven’t done yet that you would like to do before the end of your life.
15. How is your relationship with your family?
16. What is your favorite color to wear?
17. What is a food you must always have around because you love it so much?
18. When was the last time you belly-laughed and what was so funny? 

Here are some of the flashcards from the opening with anonymous local Charlottesville stories and answers: 

 

The letters were all received between the summer of 2013 and 2014 at a P.O. Box set up just for the occasion at the post office on the downtown mall, in Charlottesville. Here are some scans of various envelopes and pages from various letters, along with some extra photos that people sent along: