How does an artist who has heightened concerns about how people live on this earth, confront the mystical processes of death and dying? I lost a child at birth and came in close contact with all too many friends and family members who were either moving toward that ultimate mortal conclusion or who have already passed on. Challenged by this phenomenon, I created objects to represent different aspects of this natural process.
These aspects include viewing, memorials, remains, and the unknown. My Spirit of Addictions is a composite of all the addictions suffered by humankind which leads to death. Whether people admit or not, they surrender to their cravings. The soul of a person is enclosed in the paper mache base and garment atop is filled with addictive items in the environment that make it almost impossible for a person to control. The remains of a person is usually put into a coffin, but I chose to create ceramic urns, pyre, and cotton and natural material shrouds. Sandyhook image sought to honor what the 20 children loved doing in their short life span, in addition to the tragedy that occurred.
My penchant for making social justice statements led to my rendering of the horrific history of lynching in America in “Strange Fruit.” A song that Billie Holiday sang to campaign against the lynching of Black bodies that were in public view. Wedeshae represents the unknown. It allows the viewer to be seen from both sides and connected to whose passed on. Graves are depicted on the ground and in the sky. Much like the belief that you go to heaven, hell or you are reincarnated.