This is a small installation entitled Affirmed/Deferred that I did in the fall of 2009, in a wonderful little tucked-away Detroit gallery space known as Alley Culture.
I used ropes suspended from the ceiling to create an intimate space that the viewer could walk into.
Within the space are objects and natural materials including hair, thorns and rocks. Whenever I cut or trim my hair I always save it to use in my work as I see it as a potentially potent material for art.
This is a book of affirmations which I filled from front to back, turned upside down and filled again from cover to cover, and then wrote in all the margins. This was a daily healing ritual which I did for more than two years. Above the book is an assemblage entitled La Rosa.
These are my favorite pair of flamenco shoes. Flamenco dancing was one of my passions that consumed my life until I gave it up in order to redirect my energy to healing. The plan was to defer my dancing until I could devote more time to it.
My work is primarily autobiographical and functions as metaphor for the body and the daily rituals of healing. While metal is a potent material that I use frequently, I try to avoid the toxic processes involved in traditional metal smithing techniques. Once my principal medium, I now favor the use of less toxic methods and materials such as wood, paper, rope, stone and found objects. This conscious choice to elevate natural materials over metal came as a result of my six-year bout with cancer – which was likely initiated or promoted by my toxic working methods.
The diagnosis and my subsequent alternative health regimen changed the direction of my work, as I wholly embraced an unorthodox path to healing. My art refers to and chronicles the journey.
Collectively, my work serves as a vehicle to create awareness of holistic healing agents, and the simplicity, efficacy and certainty of my chosen protocol. As such, I’ve become an advocate for natural therapies, and my work indirectly exposes the medical establishment’s unjust suppression of alternatives.
My installation is a life-affirming, abstract reference to the body’s innately intelligent and intricate systems and channels of cleansing and healing – including capillaries, lymphatics, and intestines. I honor my body’s connection to the earth and know that returning to the laws of Nature brings healing on all levels of being.
This is the first installation I did that refers to my Healing Rituals, circa 2003. Suspended from wire are juice bags that collect the pulp from my daily juice-making. Suspended behind the bags are detailed records of my daily routines and other pertinent health reports and record-keeping. I made the arms of the hand-sewn straight jacket out of juice bags. Sitting on the floor, in first position, are a pair of my flamenco shoes.