Thursday, February 7, 2008

Altared Self

Altared Self is a 9' x 10' mixed media diptych on paper that I started in September. It is on my studio wall, waiting for me to figure out how to mount it to some sort of backing. An artist friend suggested that I attach it to canvas by rolling gel medium over the whole thing, but it has various textures that would be affected...
Another artist friend said that I could make several wood panels and attach it in sections, for easy transport and exhibiting purposes. I'm leaning toward this plan. Right now it is a bugger to move! I took it all apart to photograph it in an empty classroom at MECA which is next door to my studio (first image on this post - I photoshopped in the wooden floor...) In the second image you can see how it fills my studio - I can barely get back from it enough to photograph it.
Altared Self evolved from my recent interest in green funerals and the idea of painting the outside of plain wooden caskets with the life story of the departed, and thoughts of my own mortality. The imagery in this piece is informed by dreams and memory, illuminated medieval manuscripts, fairy tales and folk art. Objects from my childhood home - an old lace table cloth, my mother’s handmade patchwork square dance skirt - were used to create some of the patterns woven throughout the piece. My father died 10 years ago of cancer and my mother is now 86 and rapidly losing her memory from Alzheimer’s. Altared Self is about being a middle aged woman at the crossroads. It is about loss and love, experience and transformation. More than anything, it is a celebrational prayer of gratitude for my life.

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