Trailing Shadows - Exhibition
Interdisciplinary art installation.
Guests enter the dark space, illuminated by spotlights, just like the street lights illuminated the yellow Fall foliage as I aimlessly walked the city streets the night after my Mom lost her battle to lung cancer. The sound of feet crunching dry leaves lingers in the air.
One wall is covered in three groups of hand-made paper framed in pine. One group represents my aunt Lisa, who passed away when I was a teenager after battling HIV and Lymphoma. I mixed chili peppers into one, because she taught me to love spicy foods, and how to constantly explore new tastes. Another has twigs and moss, because she showed me the importance of hiking and getting quiet in nature.
Another group is dedicated to my mother. I pressed flowers from her funeral services and incorporated them directly into the pulp when I was making the paper. And the group in the middle incorporates memories of both my aunt and my mom, as I try to grasp the change in my life without two loving caretakers.
On another wall, guests approach my Red Wood blind embossed print; from afar it looks like just a hoveringgrey piece of paper. From close up, the impression of a tree is highly textured in the paper, but as you walk away the details fade away again.
Throughout the space, I've placed hand-bound art books. One is bound by only the stems of maple leaves, encased in a special box. It is so fragile, that pieces fall off of the dry leaves every time a guest tries to read it. The book will eventually completely fall apart, with all of the pieces still encased in the box. It is a meditation on how everything is temporary.
The forest bed installation is an interactive piece. I invited guests to enter and enjoy the cozy, dim-lit space. I created the canopy of yellow leaves from paper cut outs, crocheted yarn, and mixed in dried real leaves.
All of the people I know who have died from cancer were taken from their yellow leaf world. A green leaf is a child being reborn; it is new and ready to grow. A yellow leaf has seen the seasons, it is wise, and it has more color in its life. Cancer makes these green and yellow leaves turn into a brown leaf too quickly. Brown leaves are fragile, frail, they crumble in your hand, but they also go back to the earth and have potential for new life.