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Out of the Asphodel and the Posies

This body of work is my direct reaction to the past months of mourning and separation. It has two parts: a large memorial altar, Out of the Asphodel, and a series of smaller wall pieces, the Posies and shields, that act as protection for the living.

 

In Homeric mythology, the Asphodel meadows were a place in the afterlife for the regular person, as opposed to the beautiful Elysium, the storied place for heroes to go. The past months have seen so much loss for so many people (including myself).

 

Out of the Asphodel acknowledges the lives lost this year, and the grieving for them, in a shrine made of flower shadows. I made a memorial through photogram and collage to commemorate this immense loss while allowing for a way up and out of the grieving, like in my Jewish tradition, in which our prayers give a sense of hope to the living.

 

The Posies and shields are a way to keep harm from those I love through art, using the tradition of flowers as magic and medicine. They refer to the use of mixed-flower bouquets that were once carried to ward off illness before germ theory was understood.

 

Flowers are my visual language, a way of evoking reminders of phases of life through gardens past, flowers associated with specific people or places, or cultural ideas. In Out of the Asphodel I use white lilies, a traditional funeral flower, manipulated in the darkroom to take on different shades of blues and greens.

 

Out of the Asphodel is a ~200x200cm wall installation consisting of small multi-colored collages. The collages are made of hand-cut analog c-print photograms of flower petals. These multicolored pieces are flanked by two smaller black collages made of the black, exposed photo paper that the photograms were cut out of.

 

All of the collages are mounted on 5mm thick laser-cut plexiglass, so that they appear to float off of the wall.