Social media has its uses. I joined an online group that sells ephemera and the vendors I’ve purchased from know to tag me when they have “new” products for sale. That’s how I came upon one of my best purchases to date. Although I was late to the online ephemera “party” I was the first to type “Sold!”
That’s how this small treasure made its way to me. My goal was to make an art piece centered around the photo. And I wanted to be proud of the piece. I didn’t want to waste the photo. To that end, I pushed myself to explore new ideas that seemingly came out of nowhere.
Title: What Remains
The body language of the young girl is striking, almost impossible to forget, yet there are no markings to identify her. The photo has passed through an untold number of hands while finding its way to me, a photo collecting junkie.
Whether I consciously planned it or not, the art piece resembles a memorial you might find in an old cemetery. It is a tribute to the unknown girl.
Dimensions: 19 ½” tall x 8” wide
Media: Mixed Media
Cigar Box: I have a family source who supplies me with these treasures. They are the perfect size and material. For this piece I drilled holes through the sides of the box.
Rose: My friend Tom Cao, owns Flowerama in Plano, Texas. He donated a mountain of “reject” flowers for my art endeavors. The flowers were beautiful when they were fresh and they remain beautiful as dried flowers.
I drilled holes through the stem to align with the holes in the cigar box. Then I threaded the rose and box with embroidery thread. You’ll notice there’s a slight downward angle to the thread. I created tension in the thread by pulling the rose down through the bottom of the box. A nail is keeping the tension in place.
Old Photo: As mentioned previously, a treasure I purchased through an online ephemera group. The lines of the embroidery thread mimic the powerline in the photo.
Triangle shaped wood: Shiplap I painted and dyed to add character. An artist friend, Jose Angel Hernandez, described my piece to another by saying, “it looks like a house.” The thought hadn’t occurred to me but I welcome the interpretation. It does look like a house… a home… a final resting place.
Screw and washer: found objects sourced from streets.
Ribbon: I purchased the skein of ribbon from a yarn shop in a historic downtown in Texas. I used glue to stiffen and shape the ribbon. I also stamped “what remains” on to some scraps.
“What Remains” is currently on display at the Grand Theater in Lewisville, Texas. It is also available for purchase.