Beach Houses is about the beautiful homes which we lost all along the Gulf Coast. Mile after mile of the Mississippi coastline has been robbed of the edifices which graced our lives for many years. All that is left now are the broken pieces of antique furniture, twisted and rusty fragments of metal, and the occasional ornamental treasure which comprise this piece. 30" x 45" SOLD
Old Town refers to Old Town Bay St. Louis. This beautiful beachfront community took a heavy beating in Katrina, but the spirit is still strong. Less than six weeks after the storm, Jenise McCardell and her husband Mark had mucked out the 18” of mud which was left behind in their building at 220 Main Street, made temporary repairs to the damaged roof, and were open for business. The Artists at 220 Main had the grand reopening during the Second Saturday Artwalk Celebration in October, and we have been exhibiting our works on a daily basis ever since. This piece was created from a painted and distressed furniture panel, pieces from a picket fence, the top to a wooden crate, wire, and a decorative plaster medallion. 42" x 36" SOLD
Angels Gather Here was created for my incredible friend Claire Hawn, who lost her home in Waveland to the storm. She had a collection of angels, none of which she had been able to find in the rubble. I visited her lot and found this round plaster plaque almost completely buried in the mud. I mounted it on some steel from her house, added the metal garland which I also found on her property, and finished the piece with some ceramic leaves and a ceramic wing. 30" x 24"
Paul's Heron is my new favorite piece. This exquisite heron fashioned from copper formerly lived in Paul and Stella's yard on the beach in Waveland. Paul gave it to me, I designed the piece and told a friend about it, and she bought it sight unseen. The remainder of the piece is made from a piece of painted plexiglass, what is left of a flower box, a piece of driftwood and a painted plywood support. SOLD
Matrimonial Bliss I is the male half of the Matrimonial diptych. It features a marvelous handcarved wooden puppet from China-even the pegs connecting the limbs are of wood. I found this gem -and the female counterpart- on a recent trip to New York City. It rests upon a Mexican architectural piece and a painted charger, which is the only element of storm debris in this piece. SOLD
Mask is another piece that is about anger, but more of a generalized anger. We have all had moments of anger in this experience, whether it was directed towards the slow government response, the scarcity of essentials, or the storm itself. The piece is made from another one of my daughter’s masks (or rather, half of one-) a piece of handmade paper salvaged from the woods, and a metal and wicker furniture component. 29" x 16"
Southern Sundance reveals some of my own roots. A native of South Dakota, I was strongly influenced by the culture of Native Americans. The strongest element in this piece is the buffalo shoulder bone, weathered and discolored from age and the elements. I had brought it with me from my last trip to the Dakotas, along with the fossilized ammonite shell. The shell settled only feet from where it had been kept in my house. The bone was another story; I found it several lots north of where my studio had been, in the trunk where it had rested with other bones and some wild turkey feathers. The brass sand dollar brings the piece back home to the coast, and the rusty metal forms a natural crosspiece. The orange metal pieces are to be likened to the sun’s rays, and the crosses point to the suffering of both those sun dancers of the plains, and the victims of Katrina. The support is of handmade paper, burlap and board. 26" x 40"
Biloxi Prayer is among the simplest pieces, both visually and in the message it conveys. The support is a heating grate which represents home and hearth, and the multitude of crosses points to the strong faith of so many of the folk who make a living in the seafood industry here on the coast. The storm-twisted basket is the net in which the fish has been caught, and the painted paper is indicative of the water. The piece is a metaphor for the position in which the workers in the industry find themselves; strong prayer is called for. 28" x 28"
Clayton’s Angel is built around the central figure, which I liberated from the rubble pile outside of Clayton Frazier’s antique shop on the beach in Old Town Bay St. Louis. The angel is mounted on a decorative tin that has seen better days, and is softened with fabric ribbon. The support for the piece is a seat from a wooden chair. 20" x 20" SOLD
African Mask is about the deep feelings of resentment held by many members of the black community in New Orleans. In the aftermath of the storm, charges were made that if the population had been largely white, help would have been much quicker in arriving. The piece incorporates an African mask, multi colored yarn, a piece of a small table, two small dolls, a portion of a mixed media piece, and a cupboard door on which a narrative of the storm has been written. 24" x 60" SOLD
Cairo’s Bayou is about our favorite spot on our property. We had a little pier off the bayou, and my husband spent endless hours there, throwing his cast net, crabbing, and feeding an egret he befriended. The central image is of a painting I did of the spot, and it is surrounded by fragments of handmade paper and a damaged painting. 12" x 16" SOLD
Gabriel’s Mask features a paper mache mask by Gabriel Q. The piece is about the storm as it affected the city of New Orleans, and about the masks we all wear now as we try to find a way to live with the changes the storm wrought in our lives. The mask is mounted on a battered piece of plywood, and incorporates handmade paper, metal fleur de lis and mardi gras beads. 20" x 29"
The Muses is one of the newer pieces which I am very happy with. Several months after the storm I came upon a heavily damaged disco ball on the beach, and hauled it to my studio. I tore strips of the mirror tiles off, and married them with the broken plaster frieze, and a table top. A small piece of additional glass completes the piece. SOLD
The Home Place is a haunting piece which tells the story of the many beautiful homes which used to line the Mississippi Gulf Coast. There are only ghosts left of these homes now, whether they are photographs, memories or a few battered pilings left standing. The piece is made from a badly damaged etching in its original, battered frame, mounted on a salvaged tabletop adorned with pieces of a plant stand. 48" x 19" SOLD
St. Nick of the Fan Blade is one of the whimsical pieces which speak to the spirit of the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As the 2005 holiday season approached, people could be seen decorating their tents, Fema trailers, and what was left of their homes. The piece is fashioned from a decorative Santa, a fan blade, portions of a doll house, glass bead tassels, and a battered piece of painted wood. 13" x 23 1/2" SOLD
Something Happened in Clermont Harbor was the first piece of the collection to be sold; unfortunately, it sold before I was able to get a good photo of it. Also one of the first pieces made, it was all about my personal experiences with the storm. The cruciform/human shape was created from fragments of handmade paper upon which metal hands, a clock that stopped when the storm hit my community, a fossilized ammonite, cheesecloth, and a heart keychain. 24" x 37"
Shroud is one of the first pieces in the series, and remains one of my favorites. The piece was inspired by and built around what I believe to be the quintessential image of Hurricane Katrina. On the beach in Waveland, this damaged tree caught a length of fabric hurled by the storm. It happened to drape in a fashion that was powerfully human. Conjuring up thoughts of sacrifice as it does, it perfectly portrays the feelings of so many people along the coast. The piece was created from a metal serving platter; a portion of a mixed media painting; decorative wood; crate fragment, gauze; and digital images. 16" x 32" SOLD
Seminole Sage was created for a very dear friend of mine, who lost her horses, cats, and goats to the storm. Seminole Sage was the name of her magnificent Rocky Mountain horse, whom I was privileged to ride on may occasions. This piece is about the pain of losing our animal “familiars” and is composed of portions of a carved wooden horse, a wooden headboard, metal wing, crosses, nails, wicker, bottle caps, cheesecloth and pages from the book “Black Beauty.” 48" x 37"
Rhinestone Angel was created especially for a new friend of mine, who bought another piece in the collection. Through emails, he told me of his parent’s story of loss, and I was inspired to create something for them. This piece incorporates a wooden angel, an ornate picture frame, a battered and rusty piece of metal, an abused bracelet, and a piece of formica. 14" x 19"
Puppet of the Storm is another piece which speaks to anger and helplessness. We were as powerless as manikins during the storm and its aftermath. The anger on the face of the puppet tells it all. The rest of the piece is comprised of a grill rack, a fan blade and part of a screen painted by another artist. 18" x 32" SOLD
Heron is all about the animals which perished in the storm. As of six weeks after Katrina, I have yet to see a single animal alive in Clermont Harbor. They are coming back in the area, but for these past weeks, the silence of the animals has been a traumatic void in our lives. The piece is composed of a metal bird by an unknown artist, a piece of one of my paintings, a piece of Asian paper, and rusted tin. 24" x 34"
Oak and Wall features one of the digital images I created after the storm. A live oak was uprooted next to a beautifully painted wall on Beach Blvd in Bay St. Louis. The image rests upon a piece of handmade paper which I recovered from my property, as well as a piece of corrugated cardboard and a fragment of masonite. 22" x 11" SOLD
Northeast Quadrant is a piece that is powerful because of its simplicity. It is composed of a plaster wing mounted on a round piece of metal. The piece of metal sticking off to the side represents the position of the worst side of a hurricane, and the position in which my community found itself on August 29, 2005. The golden wing points to the hopefulness with which we look to the future. 22"
North Beach Blvd is comprised of cork over wood; scuffed plywood; handmade paper; bamboo webbing; fragment of a painting and a digital image. The image is of a storm battered tree on the beach in Bay St. Louis, not far from the Bay Bridge. This is a very straightforward piece; it simply tells, in layers, the Gulf Coast story on August 29, 2005. 12" x 15 1/2"
Norma Jean’s Bayou features a digital image I created of a painting finished several months before the storm. I had begun a second painting of the same location, which I found hanging from a piece of someone’s roof. I combined the two images with fragments of handmade paper and a bamboo tray which used to sit on a table in my home. The support for the piece is masonite. 28" x 20"
Nicholson Avenue features a digital image of the railroad tracks near Nicholson Avenue in Waveland. The fury of the storm can be seen in the twisted metal, and the house which was deposited on the tracks in the distance. The rest of the piece is a fragment of handmade paper, part of a wicker basket, and a deformed cookie sheet. 11" x 18" SOLD
Mignon was born as a result of a conversation with a member of the staff at the Mississippi Humanities Council. I received a call from the office, inquiring about the possibility of using one of my pieces for the image on the invitations to the annual awards banquet. I designed Mignon for them and in addition to using the image, they purchased the piece. The damage caused by the storm is symbolized by the broken pot, muddy and torn sheet music, and the missing hand of the figure. The piece is also about hope and rebirth, however. The confident stride of the figure as well as his Mona Lisa-like smile, and the presence of the sheet music indicate that we will move forward, and will once again be surrounded by the things we love. 30" high
Mimosa at Buccaneer began with a digital image of a painting. The mimosa tree is still standing in front of Buccaneer State Park, albeit heavily damaged. The image is mounted on a piece of handmade paper, and also incorporates a fragment of wood flooring and a vinyl tile. 12" x 12" SOLD
Mardi Gras Doll is about my neighbors in New Orleans. So many people suffered unimaginable hardships in the city, and yet the spirit of the Big Easy remains. The piece consists of a damaged mardi gras doll, mardi gras beads, handmade paper and an acrylic support. 14" x 14" SOLD
Lake Pontchartrain centers on a digital image of one of my paintings. Most of the work in this series is about the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but this is an acknowledgement of the hardships faced by the people of New Orleans. The image is surrounded by fragments of a mixed media work which did not survive the storm, as well as a beautifully scarred piece of plywood. The support is masonite. 12 1/2" x 17" SOLD
Katrina Song is a peaceful work which is easy to rest your eyes upon. The inspiration for the work was the fragment of a guitar neck. Music was an important part of my upbringing and even when musical instruments are ripped apart, they still represent comfort to me. The assemblage consists of a cupboard door; wooden bowl; fragments of acrylic paintings on paper; portion of a guitar neck; decorative string, and cross. 16" x 21"
Irish Eyes is about one of my storm stories. Intensely private, it hints at my fears during the storm and in particular, my fear that I would find a close friend dead. The piece is of board, acrylic paint; fragments of two acrylic paintings; corrugated cardboard; metal; handmade paper; digital image; metal watch casing, and a handwritten account. 12" x 20"
Counter Clockwise Rotation, with it’s cruciform shape, is about the human suffering caused by the storm. As everyone in hurricane country knows, the storms in this hemisphere always have this rotation. The piece is composed of a drawer part, a piece of a kitchen cupboard door, two pieces of fine furniture, an enameled disk, a storm-damaged photograph of myself when young, and a table tennis racket. 28" x 32" SOLD
Gypsy Doll has garnered some strong reactions, most of them negative. People find this piece very disturbing, but I see it in a different light. The broken and muddy doll represents how so many of us felt-and looked- in the immediate period after the storm. In lieu of her missing hair I wound some fragments of cloth I had salvaged. The resulting “gypsy” look of the doll points to our collective status as indigents in our own community. As a friend put it, “we are all pushing around shopping carts now.” This piece incorporates a shutter; metal; Christmas lights, doll fragment and cloth. 18" x 30"
Framed Fish is a piece that was born from my occasional forays into the world of outrageous color. While my natural inclination is towards the earth tones, the vibrant colors of this dented enameled fish would not be satisfied with my normal fare of color. I enhanced the ornate frame and bruised piece of plywood to compliment the fish, and mounted them all on a wooden platter which I also painted. 17" x 17" SOLD