Monday, August 26, 2013

The Last Bouquet, Installation in Pickens, SC

(Above:  The Last Bouquet, installation. Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

I'm totally elated that my work has been invited for inclusion in an upcoming fiber art exhibit called  Connecting Concept & Medium: Fiber Art in South Carolina at the Pickens County Museum of Art & History in Pickens, South Carolina.  The show opens on September 7th and runs through Nov. 14.  There's an opening reception on Sept. 7 from 5 - 8.  Perhaps I'll get to finally meet Terry Jarrard-Dimond and Jim Arendt! 

(Above:  The Last Bouquet, detail.)

I know some of the other artists too ... and am especially thrilled to have work in the same show with Jocelyn, Mary Edna, Fran, and Lee ... people whose work I've admired FOREVER due to their high national and international profiles.  I'm also excited to show work with other SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associate) members like Beth, Bonnie, Dottie and Marilyn!  This is going to be GREAT! 

Included fiber artists:
Paige Alexander, Beth Andrews, Jim Arendt, Lois Bro, Jocelyn Châteauvert, Robin Ann Cooper, Kathy Costner, Mary Edna Fraser, Fran Gardner, Terry Jarrard-Dimond, Patricia Kerko, Christina Laurel, Susan Lenz, Connie Lippert, Lee Malerich, Jeanette Moody, Dottie Moore, Marlene O’Bryant-Seabrook, Bonnie B. Ouellette, Beth Robertson, Alice Schlein, Gayle Sexton, Susan Sorrell, Chris Tedesco, Marilyn Wall, and Michael Wiernicki

(The Last Bouquet, detail.)

One of the most important reasons for my excitement is the fact that Executive Director Allen Coleman asked if I'd like to create an installation.  OF COURSE I WOULD ... and I did last Thursday!

I know the space well.  My solo show Blues Chapel was once on the second floor ... in this historic part of the building ... in the room that includes the circular niche in one corner.  I adore that niche and instantly knew how I wanted to transform it.

(Above:  The Last Bouquet, installation.)

I brought all my epitaph banners (something like 45 of them), all of my artificial flowers collected from cemetery dumpsters (three large garbage bags), two large fabric panels of black crayon grave rubbings, one of my "Book of Angels", a kneeler I recently purchased at auction, two church offering plates (don't ask ... but ...yes ... I have a strange stash of found objects), a few hundred wrapped-and-stitched wooden spools, and A Bud on Earth, one of my framed xylene photo transferred cemetery angel images stitched with the tiniest artificial blossoms.  Then I transformed the niche.

(Above:  The Last Bouquet as seen in a window installation at the Tapps Art Center during January and February of 2011. Click on image to enlarge.)

I knew I could do it ... because I've done it before.  I first created this installation for a storefront window at the Tapps Art Center in 2011.  CLICK HERE to read about this project.  At the time, I wrote the installation's statement:

Every leaf, every petal, and every artificial flower came from cemetery dumpsters.  Each had been brought to a grave-site as a token of love, a symbol of memory, and later tossed away.  Installation artist Susan Lenz retrieved washed and recycled the blossoms.  She combined the blossoms with curtains of grave rubbings on fabric, embroidered chiffon banners, and a mixed media “angel” to create this installation, “THE LAST BOUQUET”.  The work is meant to reflect both personal and universal mortality while investigating the concept of remembrance and human frailty.

(Above:  My other work in the Picken's invitational.  Click on image to enlarge.)

 I am also happy to have other work in this important exhibition ... including (from left to right above) The Leaf Dress, Only Child, In God's Care, Circular Churchyard Angel II, At Rest in Arkansas, and The Spool Cradle.  


Wanda said...

Oh is beautiful. Even in the photos, it looks tranquil. Just as a last place should be. You have created what I think everyone wants...a place of honor. Beautiful

Margaret said...

What Wanda said. If I could be there I would pore over it...

Julie said...

Congratulations on being included Susan. Your installation is wonderful, so much to look at and think about.

Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

Hey Susan! I look forward to meeting you as well. I've enjoyed your work on many occasions so I'll have a "real" person to connect with. Also looking forward to seeing your installation in person.