I stand before you a stranger in a land grown strange

For this work-in-progress, the form of paper life-size robes from a variety of cultures are used as a symbol of personal protection and the external forces and interior fragilities that shape each individual. Poet Ginny Hoyle and I hope to complete the work in the next six months and find an appropriate venue to showcase the work. To read some of the poetry, select this link.

The Other2018
36h x 57w x 9 deep. Paper, silk, linen thread, book board.Form based on Karakalpakstan* cloak worn by women. The myth of racial identity. Outrage over the use of racial epithets and racial coding to intimidate, instill fear, create division and repress people of color. *  The Karakalpaks (who call themselves Qoraqolpoqlar) are a people of Central Asia. They lived within the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union until it was dissolved in 1991. Today their territory is within independent Uzbekistan.

Oh My Child2018
48h x 41 w x 7 deep. Paper, sumi ink,photo transfers, thread.
Form based on Japanese Yukata woman’s robe. Outrage about the plight of people driven out of their homelands by war, drought, famine, racial and religious persecution. 

Small Legs Grow Tired2017
33h x 31 w x 6 deep. Paper, ink, acrylic, thread, discarded children’s toys.
Form based on Kurte, Turkmen* child’s robe. Created in response to the plight of children forced to hide in shelters with their parents, barely out of harm’s way, deprived of the simple comforts of home and childhood* Turkmenistan is located in Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan.

Home2017
60h x 31 w x 6 deep. Paper, ink, acrylic, fabric, inkjet prints.
Form based on Uzbekistan Woman’s robe.  Inspired by Ai Wei Wei’s film, Human Flow, documenting the flight of more than 50 million people who have been driven from their homes, losing the comfort, security and safety we associate with home.

The Big Shrug (in-process), 2018
30 h x 26 wide x 16 deep (when jacket is tied). Tyvek, sumi ink, thread, buckles.
Form based on the straitjacket used to restrain mental health patients at risk of hurting themselves or others. Created in response to the massive inadequacy of mental health care in the United States and the suffering that results.

Woke Woman Walks 9in-process), 2018
56 h x 26 w x 15 deep (closed robe dimension). Rice paper, sumi ink, tacks, wire, thread.
Form based on the book Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. An imagined protective robe for women in a culture of mysogeny. The garment is based on the idea of wrapping oneself in roses with the thorns on the outside and flowers on the inside as a mean of protection.

UP NEXT:

Greed (in-process), 2018
Rice paper, polyester rug hooking mesh
A response to Paul Manafort’s ostrich skin jacket as a reflection and expression of greed and outlandish consumption.

Punching Back
Painted punching bag.
Punching back against hatred with love and kindness.

Earth
A love song for the planet, a prayer for the communal will to take concerted action to slow the ravages of climate change in time to mitigate catastrophic damage around the world.
Main poem:

HOUSE OF CLAY
As for me, I will choose this mud-walled home, speckled
with stubble of stick and straw, daubed with pine pitch.

House of humble clay, this planet Earth, formed by fire, cured
by the heat of a star, chiseled by rivers, by rivers of air,

six million years of human hunger, love
and war. House of forest, prairie, canyon, sky.

Of tawny savannahs roamed by the last wild herds,
zebra surging over Serengeti Plains.

House of terraced field, coral reef, desert sand, raging river
and dry well. Of polar waters’ waning ice, granite peaks

ringed by indefinite clouds. O house of sweet wet clay,
riddled with fine roots, malleable in human hands.

Our small shared house of flowering earth.
Our one clay cup for six—wait—seven billion mouths.

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