Works of Heart
Repurpose: to adapt for use in a different purpose.
My two largest works were forged in the furnace of pain and loss. Through the influences of Dr. Brene Brown, Anne Lamott, and Glennon Melton Doyle (My Trifecta), I was able to face objects that triggered my pain and loss. Here are their stories:
My Repurposed Wedding Dress
On August 23, 2014 I would have been celebrating my 11th wedding anniversary, had I not divorced nearly a year earlier. Instead I was embarking on a journey to Penland School of Crafts in Bakersville, NC to take a week long weaving class taught by Ismini Samanidou. She asked us to bring an object of personal significance to influence our creative work. I knew I had to take my wedding dress and repurpose it. It needed to be transformed from an object that made my heart sink to one that made my heart soar. Here is the documentation of its transformation...
"'Til death do us part” is a vow millions of us have whole-heartedly pledged. I spoke my vows on August 23, 2003. After more than 10 years and two children together, our marriage was dead, but I survived. No one tells you what to do with all the artifacts documenting those years together. Those artifacts, even smells, mercilessly take you back to your past, always without your permission. When I get there, I see that girl, my former self. In the beginning, and sometimes still, I want to slap her, shake her, and scream to her, “Wake up! Don’t you see the red flags? Stand up for yourself! What are you doing?”. I do my very best to remind myself that she did the best she could do. Based on what she knew and believed about life and people, she made all the right decisions, there are no regrets. I place my hand over my heart and whisper, “She was brave. She is a fighter. She got me here.”
My work fuses my artifacts including wedding photos, dress, and even divorce documents to create a visualization of my journey. The twelve photos layered on top show my engagement ring and the twelve words that summarize the terrain I’ve traveled: Disconnect, Unseen, Unloved, Despair, Ashes, Courage, Strength, Phoenix, Vulnerability, Safety, Whole-Hearted, and Thrive.