New series: "Your Crown Has Been Bought & Paid For"

At one of my last exhibits, someone asked me what I was going to make next.

"Bought & Paid For" altered book series/ Lisa Myers Bulmash. Photo credit: Clear Image.

"Bought & Paid For" altered book series/ Lisa Myers Bulmash. Photo credit: Clear Image.

I responded I was considering creating work inspired by the following quote.

I've been thinking about the people who've suffered and even died so I could be where I am.  I've had a fairly privileged life: loving family of origin, college graduate, married with children. And I'm profoundly grateful, but what sacrifices have been made for me. I could be paralyzed with guilt... or I could get on with making something of what I've been given.

I focused on coronas (which can mean "royal headgear" or "the light around the sun") and paired them with fragments of fake money.  Then I layered transparencies of my brother as a child over painted-over images of shelter, fitting each pair into hand-torn book niches.

"Reconstruction"/ Lisa Myers Bulmash

"Reconstruction"/ Lisa Myers Bulmash

This first piece is "Reconstruction." Yes, that's a slave auction house in the background. But notice the person leaning against the building is a black man with a rifle -- probably not an enslaved person. I assume the original (Library of Congress) photo was shot sometime after the Civil War, during the Reconstruction Era.

"2100 Miles Away"/ Lisa Myers Bulmash

"2100 Miles Away"/ Lisa Myers Bulmash

The second piece, "2100 Miles Away", was inspired by a long-ago comment my grandmother made. She was happy to have her daughters both living on the East Coast, "a perfect distance to travel" in her opinion. But then we had to go and move to the West Coast... a distance which made my mother happier than my grandmother.

"Land's End"/ Lisa Myers Bulmash

"Land's End"/ Lisa Myers Bulmash

The final piece points both to the past and the present. Compared to most of my relatives, I live in "land's end": the furthest northwest you can get and still live in a metro area of the contiguous United States. I don't know how much time I have left to see my older cousins again. It brings to mind superstitions about birds on the roof.

I designed these pieces to work as a triptych, so I'm hoping all three will be accepted to an upcoming exhibit. I better get on that submission process...