Last night I finished the second of two new collage portraits, which I'll take to Alki Arts soon for our February exhibit. It's all over but the framing. I can't even tell you how excited I am to get these pieces ready for the show !
My inspiration for these two: something called a "truth window," a deliberate exposure of what's inside a wall, such as hay bale insulation.
So I used a pair of knickknack-y picture frames from Goodwill, plus a hay-like art paper, to create a similar effect.
But why mermaids? I got the idea from faux aged sculptures I saw while on vacation a couple years ago.
To me, mermaids and mermen suggest the lure of the ocean's wildness, its unpredictability, its insistence on being what it is.
Maybe that wildness is tamped down in people by rules and responsibilities, by expectations others have of you. For some people of color, there's often an added pressure to Be Responsible and "a credit to your race," as the old phrase went. If you're a girl, you may be discouraged from taking risks and hoping everything comes up lucky number seven...
... and if you're a guy, you may not get much leeway to just be goofy and playful like a kid.
Even with these constraints, I think there's always a scrap of unpredictability that still remains inside. With these collage portraits, I hope I've made some of it visible. I'd love for you to see them in person! The opening reception is Thursday, February 5th from 5pm to 8pm. Looking forward to it!