Growing up in the Mid-West had its ups and downs. Especially for an odd boy like me. With this new assemblage I wanted to take some negative things and turn them into positive things. I wanted to take some ugly things and try to make them beautiful. And it ends with a poem.
My jumpin point were these loosely shuttled dreadlocks in hues of red and green that mimic the beauty of an heirloom tomato. And let me tell you something about Indiana folk, they take pride in their tomatoes. As they should. The hair with this piece is extremely interactive. It is fun and easy to work with and can be restyled at your leisure. And it's VERY long. Move over Crystal Gayle #longhairdontcare. I wrapped some of the dreads in various emroidery floss and used a thick wood bangle and an old blue plaid shirt that had fallen to pieces from my Indiana days to attach her hair to the porcelain head. Most of everything else you see here was imported from Indiana. The thick wooden backing for this piece is Indiana architectural salvage wood that I coloured with oil pastel and then rubbed it off. The thick rusted and round salve tin that makes up her body was rusted shut and I used acrylics to bring some colour back to it. Earphone buds for boobies with push pin nipples! A mourning pin of an Indiana Catholic woman who passed away that was most likely handed out at her funeral. A key to hide secrets, a skull, cherry and a deer figurine. And of course you need you some Jesus and a Gun. It's Indiana. The bee wax stamp on her forehead had been pressed into an envelope which contained a letter from a friend in Indiana. Lots of lovely bees in Indiana! Ribbon from the Franklin IN fabric store. Child's bowling game pins for legs which I painted and wrapped with embroidery floss. Bingo chips cuz ya gotta love some Bingo in Indiana.
Lots of floss, micro beads, oil pastel, beads, matte finish on everything...moths. And then a vintage tin metal bird which I broke in half to give her wings. Painted on wings so she could fly away. Lots of green and gold and reds going on here. Colours of my childhood. Beautiful agriculture. Beautiful Farmer's Markets. Breeding their tomatoes for the top prize.
A lot of beautiful things happened to me in Indiana. And a lot of horrible things as well. But we could probably all say that of our younger years. The task is to celebrate the good and win back the heartaches by turning them all into something beautiful. It IS a healing.
New Assemblage Piece -
"Heirloom Tomato" (A tribute to Indiana)
Wipe that makeup off your face and then go hide the gun.
Whip that heirloom hairdo up into a messy bun.
Dance around your room in a secret hidden twirl.
Fry me up some maters and quit screaming like a girl.
Love the Baby Jesus but then learn to shoot a dear.
Don't worry bout her children or her final fleating fear.
You broke the fucking dress code for the very lastest time.
So hold a mirror to your face - You will never shine.
Carry all the dead with you as you struggle to thrive.
Treat them better than you did when they were still alive.
Black out your windows.
Do less than you're able.
Do you like ping pong?
Bend over that table.
Don't ask the wrong questions.
Dont tell the truth.
Dont play with matches.
Don't play on the roof.
You still got that bacon grease leftover from today?
Put some on my popcorn son and let me drop away.
Go and catch them fireflies now until the sun has gone.
Then run fast through the safest yards to make your way back home.
And then quietly lie down to sleep. All alone. And pray.
And wait and wait and wait and wait until you fly away.
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