Monday, December 29, 2014

Holliday is over, let's get back to art.

My decorations are all tucked away  and artwork is spread around now.     I am entering three pieces in the Exhibit that will take place at the Mexican Heritage Center .  The theme is Art Against Violence.      I met one of the directors at a meeting a couple weeks ago and asked whether she thought drunk driving was an applicable subject.   She gave me a wholehearted YES, so I decided to enter the White Crosses book.   

After later discussion it didn't seem to work out that the actual book be exhibited due to the size and fragility.     It just would not work.   This just presented another challenge.    How can it be entered?   Hmmm.....

  I went through a lengthy thought process and checked in with a few friends and brother for input.   I had first thought it would be good as a video or even a slide project, but that would mean someone would need to be there for the equipment and to start and stop and troubleshoot.      Not practical.      So, I decided to break the book content down into the two parts.  The first being the section where I used the found words technique to paint out all the words except those that contained the narrative I selected.      I scanned it, and am having it printed on heavy paper to construct a separate book that can be handled.      Here are the pages. 

the highway
claimed another victim
you noticed that single cross.    Who ---or what ---marked the spot
open road
driving that hill and that curve
the accident site
he looked back
he didn't see the tree

Each page is cut along the highway so the next pages show partially.    I'll do this with the new version as well.

The next section of the book contained my poem "Shrines by the Side of the Road" which I wrote in 2009.     Instead of using it in the book form, I decided to use an old canvas, draw on a road and then print the poem, cut out the words and glue them along the roadway.    This measures 24 x 48 inches and hangs horizontally.   Right now it is still in progress.  Here is how it looks at the moment with the words just scattered along in two different fonts.   It's still very much in the making decisions mode.    Masking tape is roughly where the road will be.

In order to make it fit, I had to edit the poem down, leaving out a number of stanzas and lines.     Here is how it reads now.   
The Shrine at the Side of the Road

Driving along a country road
on a sunny afternoon
without a care in the world.

I know this road,
I've passed this way before.

I am startled to see
by the side of the road
a white cross nailed to a tree.
A shrine for a youth
whose path ended here.

In his old pickup truck
with a six pack of beer
he lost control rounding the bend.

The impact! the crash!
the truck is now trash.
Broken glass, broken head,
 pronounced DEAD!

How many lives were shattered that night?
How many people mourn?
How many tears were shed
for the brother, the friend, the son?

Nothing can be said,
nothing can be done.
That's the hardest part.
Nothing is slower to heal
than the hole in his mother's heart.

I say a little prayer
for the soul of the one who died
and the lives
that were wrenched by the tragedy
as I zip past the sad little shrine
that could have been mine.

I've passed this way before
I'll pass this way again.

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