Photo by Sieg Mann
It is a hard time to be an empathetic person.
I am inundated, angry, despairing, and feel that I have no right to complain, since my life is relatively safe. I am also visited with moments of profound hope as I and fellow artists develop amazing works and rise up against injustice.
The Kali Walker, photo by Heidi Marie Photography
Among other things, I make mobility art and curate Opulent Mobility, an exhibit that re-imagines disability as opulent and powerful. I take wheelchairs, walkers, and mobility scooters and give them new characters and lives. A scooter turns into an Art Nouveau peacock, a walker into a mobile Victorian bathhouse, and a wheelchair becomes an Edwardian throne. The most recent works are the Goddess series, beginning with the Kali Walker. She took two years to build and in her I channeled the rage and fury over the run-up to the 2016 election, my best friend being killed in a hate crime, and my own health issues. My works re-imagine disability, but they are also a way for me to process anger, joy, pain, and uncertainty.
Driven, photo by Heidi Marie Photography
My newest sculpture is based on the Fairy Melusine.
Sketch of Melusine
This piece is about disability, female autonomy, and power. All my mobility artworks are based on reused and repurposed materials, but Melusine in particular is based on the eco brick principle. She is built around a shampoo and supplement container spine and is literally stuffed full of plastic waste. As I shove scraps into her base with a wooden spoon, I am reminded of all that we shove down ourselves and all of the trash that we hide.
It seems like a fitting metaphor for this time.