In November and December, the Corvallis Art Center will have a show called Shrines and Reliquaries which I am happy to be a part of with this piece. The box that became the reliquary was found on a good day at Goodwill. This old black box with metal corner protectors and a replaced handle nearly flew off the shelves into my hands a few days after I found out about the show. I knew immediately that this was the beginning of my piece.
It sat on my worktable for a week or two, open and in an upright position while I waited for inspiration. The first thing that came to me was to divide the right hand side, so I cut a piece of foamcore and made a shelf. The second thing was to use some frayed canvas with a transfer of old text on it as a background for the left side. (Sorry, the detail is pretty limited in this photo).
From that point I started playing with the left side, using an old tintype, a small black box, some buttons, and other things. The lower right meanwhile began filling with an assortment of torn letters/secrets, which were then rolled up, tied and glued into place (a source of huge frustration to many). I like having the viewer so want to pull them out and open them up and read them. It evokes an emotion similar to peeking into someone else's private things. Sort of scary and anxiety-producing, but very alluring too.
The top right filled with a favorite family photo of mine of my great grandparents, their homestead on the plains of Kansas, and a few of their 16 children. The sense of desolation
in the photo (and the empathy I feel for my great-grandmother) have always been very powerful to me, and I have used the photo in several art pieces. A bottle dangling in the center of the roof-like space holds another "secret" written in Braille.
Another glorious fall day here. I'm off to walk to the garden to see if it frosted there. It was 34 this a.m. at the house. Enjoy the day!