Friday, September 08, 2017

Can't Help Myself!

(Above:  The Wall of Ancestors, Fruit of the Victory Garden.  Anonymous vintage photo and frame with a collage of text.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

 Tomorrow is a big day!  Steve and I will pack our brand new, white, ProMaster Dodge Ram utility van and head to Spartanburg, South Carolina to install my solo show, Anonymous Ancestors, in the USC-Upstate (University of South Carolina) downtown gallery.  Today's been a "hunter-gatherer" day, assembling all the furniture, hanging hardware, the curtain, altered books, sculptural garments, and the many, many boxes of framed, altered anonymous photographs.

But ... I can't help myself!

 (Above:  The Wall of Ancestors, Far from the Old Folks at Home.)

I can't help rescuing more old, forgotten photographs.  I can't help dragging home more antique frames.  I can't help myself when a perfect phrase pops into my mind ... and then I make even more work for this solo show.  So, despite the fact that I'm getting ready to install, I took time to make these new additions.

 (Above:  Wall of Ancestors, Fly Boy.)

When I first created The Wall of Ancestors, I had 127 pieces.  That was three years ago.  (CLICK HERE to see a blog post featuring this first installation.)  By last August, the Wall of Ancestors morphed into a site-specific experience, a solo show called Anonymous Ancestors. It was installed at USC-Beaufort and included just under 200 pieces.  (CLICK HERE for images of that show.)

 (Above:  Wall of Ancestors, Every Boy's Dream.)

Since that time, I'm made more pieces.  I honestly have no idea how many are in the boxes but I'll count the ones that get hung after the installation is ready for viewing.

 (Above:  The Wall of Ancestors, Homage to the Itinerant Photographers.)

All of the images are not expected to hang now.  I have more than enough which means I have plenty from which to create "vignettes" on the available walls.  I have plenty to sort through and arrange.  It is far better to have "too many" than "too few" ... which is a great excuse for continuing to make more pieces!

 (Above:  The Wall of Ancestors, Time for BBQ.)

Tonight Steve and I are headed to Augusta for the opening of A Sense of Place at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art.  I have two pieces in this national, juried exhibit.  In the back of my mind, I'm hoping to meet new people, network, and perhaps ... just maybe ... find another venue for Anonymous Ancestors.  I'm not sure how other, better established artists get their shows booked but I'll try anything.  I just can't help myself! LOL!

(Above:  The Wall of Ancestors, Snow Day.)

This piece is undoubtedly the smallest one in The Wall of Ancestors.  The tiny, old frame measures 4" x 3" total ... outer dimensions!  I had this perfect photo for it.  Here in South Carolina, snow is a rarity.  The date on the photo indicated it was 1955 when Rock Hill received so much snow.

Other items in the box I bought at Bill Mishoe's auction indicated that everything came from a man who once lived in Rock Hill ... just sixty-seven miles from where my show will soon be hanging.  Sorting through such ephemera is like peeking into a stranger's life and wondering why his distant family didn't want any of his precious possessions.  I don't know what the man would think about seeing his son's snow day in an art show, but I hope he'd be happy that the image spoke to me.


Shasta Matova said...

This sounds like it would be a great display to go with one of the big genealogy society conferences.

Shirlee Fassell said...

Just spent a week at the Brimfield Flea Market and saw so many old abandoned Family pictures. You have come up with a wonderful way to save some of them. I fear my husband might revolt if I started adding these to my collection of "motto" pictures! Great Collection!