We turned on some music and scribbled (6B water soluble graphite stick - basically a big fat pencil) to give some overexposed polaroids new life.
When I saw the notice that Recy Taylor had passed away in late December just a few days shy of her 98th birthday, I froze. The world seemed to stop. (Note: If you don't who she is, read or watch her story, say her name ((pronounced Ree-cee)), share her story.)
Although I can't remember or find the exact quote, something she said really helped me cope with my own experience with assault. She said that even though law enforcement had failed her (understatement of the century), she believed speaking up at very least made her assailants think twice before committing further crimes. I immediately started sleeping a bit better at night.
My grandmother was born and died the same years as Recy (1919-2017). I needed to talk to them both. Some might turn to a ouija board to do that, I turned to art.
Simply painting wasn't enough. I needed something more sculptural, something with layers. I started melting wax and found some old airline tickets. I turned off the logical side of my brain, turned on Tupac, and talked to them as I melted, carved, pressed pigments with bare fingers, and cut tiny pieces of paper from my past.
Sarah shifted her weight behind the podium to her right leg, pinching off her bladder as the heat and pressure of suppressed laughter bore down. She shifted back to the left. The heat rose to her chest and then her throat. After the words escaped her mouth, she bit down hard on her right cheek in a last-ditch effort to stop her body from erupting. It worked. She felt powerful.
Hilda's very soul cringed as the photographer shouted "smile!"