Sunday, May 11, 2008

Helen Hill's exhibit and CYBER FYBER

Last Monday I went to McKissick museum to pick up one of two pieces that had been part of the museum's annual art auction. (The other sold!) I wandered into another exhibition, The Dresses of Florestine Kinchen: A Tribute to Helen Hill. I viewed the work alone and in silence.

I knew this exhibition was coming. I'd followed the story in the papers. I wasn't prepared, however, for the experience of seeing it. I was confronted by Florestine Kinchen's discarded life of handmade dresses salvaged by a talented, murdered young filmmaker.

The blurb on the back of the show announcement reads: "Although she was only 36 years old when she lost her life in January 2007, Columbia native Helen Hill spent a lifetime making films. Sadly, her murder cut short the production of her newest film based on the discovery of more than one hundred hand-sewn dresses made by Florestine Kinchen, a recently deceased seamstress in New Orleans. Join us Friday, May 9, 2008, from 5:30 - 7:00, on what would have been Helen Hill's 38th birthday, for a tea party in honor of the filmmaker and dressmaker Florestine Kinchen."

I probably wasn't suppose to take photos, but I did. Panels of text filled in Helen Hill's strong academic background and pioneering film projects. Other panels gave information about Florestine Kinchen and the garments that were constructed from recycled clothing. One dress had a big tag in Helen's handwriting to identify the damage that Hurricane Katrina caused to many of the dresses after their initial rescue. Here's a little more information and another photo.

Then, I saw a panel about Helen's widow and two year old son....with a photo that included her parents...who I realized I knew. Kevin and Becky Lewis, both faculty members at the University of South Carolina, brought framing to Mouse House for years. I'd just never made the connection.

So, on Friday night I went to the tea party. Below are the photos I took. Ordinarily, I'd only include one...but another nice lady's camera wasn't working. Her daughter attended high school with Helen. I gave her a card with this blog address and said I'd post in a day or so. Friday was also my Mathias' twentieth birthday. Today is Mother's Day. I haven't quite come to terms with all the emotions.

(Above and below: Drs. Kevin and Becky Lewis, Helen's parent. Becky is wearing one of Florestine's dresses.)

(Above: Helen's family with exhibition curator Jason Shaiman in the middle.)
Hopefully, Helen's husband, Dr. Paul Gailiunas, will be able to finish the film for a closing reception that includes a film premier. Hopefully, too, this exhibition will travel to other venues. If it does, it's powerful and definitely worth seeing. Each stitch. Here is a link to Helen Hill's memorial website. change the subject ENTIRELY:

CYBER FYBER's second (and absolutely FINAL) round of trading is now open. Blogger has identified the postcard section as a possible "spam" mechanism. I guess this is standard practice when one creates a blog and posts over 130 entries within 24 hours. It shouldn't effect viewing...just publishing. It should be resolved within 48 hours! I'm still hoping for more votes.
(CYBER FYBER is the last item on the list!) I have found a caterer and a writer for the exhibition. I met with the writer on Tuesday.


Unknown said...

I don't know if it counts, but I voted!

Wanda said...

I remember you telling me about this exhibit. It must have been really moving to be there alone.