This new piece is part of my ongoing “Remember Me” series. I prepared the canvas earlier this year but had difficulty adding the components. Early iterations had a different frame, photos, and orientation. Nothing was working but I didn’t get discouraged. The best part about the creative process is the moment when I know it’s right.
We live, we love, we want to be remembered. We experience joy, sorrow and are forgotten. Beyond this earth, as depicted by the broken frame, is eternity.
I selected photos that feature a mother, father and grandmother with a baby. The photos are of strangers – they are of no relation to me or anyone I know. Even though they are strangers and the photos are quite old, the subject matter is relatable and timeless.
By design I did not attach the photos to the canvas from edge to edge. I used hinges to “attach” the photos, giving the impression you can open the door to the past.
A couple of the hinges are salvaged from cigar boxes.
Nuts & Metallic Thread
Tore Bellis provided an endless supply of interesting nuts from his father. They are a recurring theme in my “Remember Me” series. I placed a nut on the two open corners of the canvas. Then I placed 6 strands of metallic thread through the nuts. The metallic thread represents the journey through life for the six individuals featured in the piece. Some of the thread is long and others short. The thread eventually ends up in a pile toward the bottom right corner where the journey of life on this earth is complete.
The Centerpiece (Rose, Chain, Remember Me)
My friend Tom Cao of Flowerama gifted me with a pile of fresh flowers for my art projects. While I like fresh flowers, I love the texture and drama of dried flowers. The rose is a tribute to the people in the photos.
The rose has a rusty, primitive chain I found in a parking lot in Denton, Texas. The chain mimics thorns on a rose. Together, the rose and chain represent joy and pain.
I physically wrote “Remember Me” on paper, then photographed it. Then I used machine embroidery software to convert my handwriting into embroidery. I machine embroidered the text on to a brown paper bag my friend Dawn Wester gave me. I went through all this trouble to create the embroidery design only to stitch it on a humble paper bag! It is a statement that even our best effort to be immortalized is flimsy.
Canvas & Broken Frame
The canvas mimics parched land – and is a reminder that ‘from dust we came and dust we shall return.’
The frame was a gift from a new friend, Sherry Barber, who I met through the Visual Arts Prosper. She saw one of my earlier pieces with a broken frame and when I mentioned I’m in need of old frames—she handed me a pile.
I use the broken frame to suggest movement. The narrative behind the art continues beyond the framed canvas.
Date completed: September 25, 2022
Available for purchase.