A few years ago, I attended a workshop hosted by North Carolina Poetry Society member and esteemed poet, Janice Moore Fuller. Janice invited each participant to choose an article of clothing from various "costumes" she had scattered around the room, put it on, and free write as we wore it.
Sitting in the corner, I fidgeted with a bridal veil, unable to get it to stay fixed in place. I remember laughing to myself and writing, "My head's too big for this." And so came the first line of a short poem called, 'Guadalupe.'
Later, I took another bridal veil and dipped it into a vat of blue dye. After it dried, I then sewed wine-colored lace onto the bottom. Finally, I hand cut my entire poem out of construction paper and attached it to the lace.
'Guadalupe' now floats inside a 3' X 4' box frame. Please contact me if you're interested in seeing more of her and possibly adding her to your art collection.
'In Celebration of my Typewriter' is an assemblage inspired by the poetry of Anne Sexton.
The generosity of others helped me to bring this work to fruition and eventually sell it. I thank my colleagues in the science department of Tampa Bay Technical Magnet High School (1996-2002), the good folks at the flea market on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa, the lovely owners of Gold Dragon Gallery, the kind patron who purchased my work, and photographer Jesse Miller for documenting it. I am especially grateful to photographer and show coordinator, Colleen Gorlewski, and poet and visual artist, Melissa Fair for their consistent inspiration, friendship, and hard work. And of course, I extend eternal gratitude toward Anne Sexton.
I am a devotee of Nathaniel Hawthorne. I find his short story, "Rappaccini's Daughter," particularly haunting because the main character, Beatrice, has poison running through her blood as a result of her father's failed scientific experiment.
I am also an admirer of sea horses. I love watching them move with such exquisite grace, and I love that when they mate, they make sounds like music. Most interestingly, I like that the males gestate the eggs. Sadly, sea horses are threatened with extinction.
Hawthorne's short story and these lovely creatures came together in a collage I have titled, "Beatrice's Blanket." Materials in this piece include handmade, cotton rag paper sea horses, embroidery floss, lace, and pastel flannel. Please contact me if you are interested in adding this work to your art collection.
My niece, Hannah, was 8 years old when she asked me to attend mass for her first Holy Communion. She also asked why I didn't go to church as often she did.
I wrote my poem "Sacraments" as an answer for her. Then, during a road trip up the Northeast coast, I was inspired to make the poem into a book of eggs. Appropriated images collaged onto the eggs include: Tinkerbelle fighting with Saint Michael and telling secrets to Saint Francis, Georges de la Tours' painting, 'The Penitent Magdalene,' which portrays Mary Magdalen enjoying the solitude of her cave, and Alphonse Mucha's 'Lily' whose central figure I see as a confident, 'flower witch.'
In My Father's House, a collection of personal experiences of faith and religion, published "Sacraments" in Berlin in 2015. I am deeply grateful to Jen O'Hagan, editor of this amazing zine of international voices, for accepting my work.
While this three-dimensional book of eggs is still a work-in-progress and is not for sale, I am happy to share the poem and show the complete assemblage in a gallery in the future. Please contact me if you're interested in either reading or viewing.
Makriva Susanna is part of an installation comprised of three 3' X 6' muslin curtains with Xyline transferred and embroidered poetry.
I am indebted to my former colleague, and fellow 'thread enthusiast,' Courtney Garon for assisting in the creation of this visual piece, and to my creative partner, Benjamin Dauer, for the music that enhanced the narrative when Makriva was displayed at Gallery 312 in Chicago.
The poem upon the curtains is inspired by both the story of Susanna in the Old Testament and the rhythm within Leonard Cohen's poem, "Suzanne Takes You Down." My "Makriva Susanna" is a story of taking something back.
Ideally, I'd like to install her in a woods somewhere and document her breakdown as nature takes her back. So if you own some land, want to show her, and possibly freak out some hikers, please contact me.