Art Installation for First Festival, 2017
Family, upward mobility, loss, sacrifice, hope and love.
The bells are a symbol for celebration, gathering, and mourning. Like in It’s a Wonderful Life “Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings” the bells remind us of those who we loved and lost, those who helped us become who we are, and ancestors who provided our status in our culture.
The fence, meant to keep people out, once turned upward becomes a ladder (symbolically, please don’t climb it :-). Generations work to provide their children with something better – help them climb the ladder of success and fulfillment. Although dads are important, so much of the day-to-day within a family rests on the mothers, reflected in the pinks, red, and orange palette of the piece. The blessings and toasts written on the black side reiterate the hopes and aspirations we have for our children, the same ones our parents had for us, and their parents before them. Some of those blessings have been said at the dinner table in my family for generations, how about yours?
The lights represent ideas, hopes, aspirations, and new souls – all of which blink through their existence within our human history. Fabric scales or tiles protect one side of the piece, cut from lace curtains and worn garments they shade the viewer.
Lastly the photos hanging from the piece make a comment on our current immigration woes. In places where opportunity and prosperity are non-existent or life is painful, hopeless or dangerous, people flee. America has been the land of the free and brave for over 200 years, where parents bring their children for a better life. The photos are of early immigrants to Ellis Island as well as modern refugees fleeing war and poverty.