Here's another project from Lilla Rogers' MATS A class, this was a favorite of mine. We were asked to make a lush zipper pouch inspired by items from our personal collections. I collect wishbones, which is ironic because I've been a vegetarian my entire life. I also photograph random hearts that I come across in my travels, as well as clouds. When we were given the assignment I immediately started looking through my heart photographs and came across the pink paper heart that I used along the top of the pouch. Ready for trip down memory lane? Good.
In the early 1980's, back when I was still a kid, I sat next to my grandmother as she opened a letter from a dear friend of hers. When she took the letter out of the envelope, dozens of little paper hearts fell out of the folded paper. We scooped them up and put them in a small dish on her desk, there they stayed for the next 30 years.
Fast forward to 2012, she was very sick with cancer. I had just driven back to the Bay Area from visiting her in Tahoe, I drove straight from her house to the grocery store in Oakland. When I came back to my car to load it up, I looked down and saw that one of her hearts had hitchhiked back home with me and was lying on the ground next to my car door. I recognized it immediately.
Just seeing the picture of that old paper heart flooded me with memories and I knew I wanted to make a piece about her. On my desk I keep a photograph of my grandparents dancing at a "hard times party" from 1950. You may have noticed that my gram has a patch sewn onto her pants... Wait. What? Fun party theme. Anyway, I look at that picture 100 times a day and miss her like crazy.
She was an artist and an astrologer. A force of nature and the kindest most caring person you could ever meet. I added the astrological signs of their lineage beneath their feet, she would have liked that.
P.S. Here's a funny fact: I was so enamored with my grandmother that my toddler "security blanket" was actually an oil painting of her created by her friend, Tink. The edges are completely bent and worn from me dragging it all over the house when the portrait was still bigger than I was!