Friday, October 9, 2009
Finally, A New Post! And, the New Show is Up!
I had to add this photo because I put it in the collage of Lydia's descents and one woman who was looking at all them said, "wow! who was that? she had quite the flair for the dramatic back in her day!". I just said, "Oh yes, she did." HeHe! It's photo of me! Yikers indeed!
I have been busy working on my altar for the Dia De Los Muertos Altar at the Indianapolis Art Center and finally got it finished last night! Whew! I have been either stuck in my studio or out getting supplies. It seems so small and silly now, but I am so detailed oriented-I can't help myself!
I made this altar for my ancestor Lydia Gilbert who came to the British Colonies from England in the 1620s. She was maybe married there or in the Colonies. She and her husband had 4 sons and lived the areas of Salem, MA and Mystic, CT. In around 1650 she was accused of being a witch and hung for it. She was tried in the Courts of Hartford, CT and obviously found guilty of using witchcraft. I am not really sure about the details of her life or how the courts came to the conclusion that she was a "witch". I do know that I am one of her direct descendants so I felt she deserved to have her story told and in a big way.
I took a self portrait photograph and had it blown up to a large size(the frame is about 3x4 feet) because I felt when a person lived in the past like this a painting or drawing is too easy to see as "not real" if that makes sense. I wanted her to be in a photographic and in full colour-something you would never see of her. I made the frame for photograph and painted the boarder for it. I also scanned tons of photographs of her descendants which eventually ended with my parents, my sisters and me and my little nephews. My family never had much money, but they figured out how to get their photos taken! And, thankfully, they held on to everything(um, yeah, like I do too). I made 2 collages of these photos in old frames and put them on either side of her portrait just to show that the "witch" may be gone, but her descendants live on and on.
So, for her photo, I put in a pretty ivory dress that she would never have had because I wanted to give her a pretty dress. I also have her wearing fancy red slippers with red ribbons(surely only a witch would wear red shoes!). I gave her flowers and jewelry too. On her altar table, she has pretty candles and lanterns, a plate of berry scones, maple sugar candy and apples. I also gave her pretty mug with an "L" on it filled with some nice packets of cinnamon tea.
Here are some photos I quickly took of Lydia's Altar. I hope she likes it! I hope all the descendants that have gone on before me like it as well. The "witchiest" thing I can do is wiggle my ears, but I taught myself to do that as a little kid(my grandpa helped me and it was so cool when I finally figured it out!).
And, yes, I know there is the practice of good witchcraft out there that follows the seasons of the earth and all that is good with it. They weren't accusing Lydia of being that kind of witch. They said she was "in league with Satan" and horrible things like that-that she could kill people by putting hexes on them. Well, if she could do that it sure would be a different world. I am pretty sure she was up to her knees in mud trying to make a living out of nothing and take care of her family and herself and didn't have time to "dance with the devil under a full moon". I do hope she can dance for joy now with all her people that love her.