originally published Monday, November 7, 2005

daisy-tweety_birds

Tweety birds grace her home.

After a whirlwind end to the week eating into my weekend with lots of wonderful but exhausting family activities, I finally went back to Daisy’s stories so that I could begin fashioning her portrait. But as she relays her stories in a voice that is tremulously calm, I found it very difficult to imagine how I could resolve her words with many of the photos I’d taken around her home… a home that is alternately filled with plastic and ceramic fruit, plastic and ceramic African-American angels, and an entire room dedicated to Tweety Bird. It was as if, in order to cushion/protect herself from the various horrific traumas in her life, she has created her own padded cell… locked away from the pain she perceives is inflicted from the outside… but she carries within her, unable to escape. Her “panic” room is the tweety bedroom, a place to hide, to retreat to a childlike innocence, one that escaped her in her own childhood.

So how do I resolve this? A new art exhibition at Mott’s gallery helped break open the bottleneck. Donovan Entrekin is exhibiting his humanistic “portraits”, created with a crude rawness that relays the inner turmoil of our being. On the way home, I “saw” what I would need to create. A piece that gradually went through an exchange from the rawness, the sharpness, the ragged edges of life before. It would transition through a mirror framed in butterflies that sat beside her tweety bird bedroom window, a symbol of her attempted metamorphosis, until the soft and fuzzy roundness of the piles of tweety birds on the bed wrapped us in protection.

I’ve begun to put it together and I like how it’s working. A gilt-framed mirror holds the “shards” of a deteriorated Detroit house and is overlayed with a photo Daisy took of the Family Independence Agency shot through a chainlink fence. How ironic… The texture it created was perfect. It will be challenging to keep the piece in a state of transition…

until then…I rest.