Clothing: Shibori Indigo hand dyed muslin, indigo hand dyed Japanese silk
These two dolls are Matsukaze (Wind in the Pines) and Murasame (Autumn Rain), two sister characters in the Noh play “Matsukaze, or ‘Wind in the Pines.’” The play centers around the two poor fisher sisters who live in the remote region of Suma Bay in Japan. They fall in love with a courtier in exile, who promised to return for them when he was summoned back to court. He never did and they died of grief. The sisters continue to haunt a pine tree on the beach in Suma that they associate with the courtier, until they meet a traveling priest. Through the interactions with the priest, Murasame is able to let go of her earthly desires for the courtier and pass on to the next realm. However, Matsukaze cannot and is left to continue on as a pining wind. This play is associated with the season of autumn, or the ninth month in the lunar calendar (September). Thus, my Matsukaze and Murasame were installed on the last Saturday in September, the transitional day from the ninth to the tenth month in this years lunar calendar. Consequently, they were installed in a pine tree as the new moon was rising in the sky.
I was drawn to this story because I see within myself an abundance of the emotion of ‘pining.” The inability to grieve and let people go. These emotions are associated with the metal element in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This is the element of autumn. Though we have all of the five elements within us (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water), diagnostically I am told I am predominantly of the metal constitution. In addition to feeling very emotionally connected to this play, I enjoy thinking about the spirits of the sisters haunting this lone pine tree on the beach. They have become spirits of the natural world. Personified in the characters of their names, that translate to a ‘wind in the pines’ and 'autumn rain.’
Hair/Mane/Tail: Milk Fiber
Skirt/Ribbons: Logwood hand dyed silk
Celestial Appaloosa Spots: Avocado hand dyed muslin in an iron after bath
Selene is the Greek Titan goddess of the moon. Though she is associated with other lunar goddesses Artemis and Hecate, she supersedes them as the moon personified into a divine being. Her hair was said to be long, milky, and flowing, and she either rode across the heavens on a white horse, or was pulled by a pair of them bringing light to the night sky.
Moon Above Ocean, Ice Over Sea
Moon Above Ocean, Ice Over Sea
Handmade paper in the Indo-Islamic style. Cotton and Abaca blend, Flax, Indigo Dye
Hair: Alpaca and Flax
Skirts/Bodies: Sumi Ink, Avocado, Logwood, Indigo, and Coffee Hand-Dyed Muslin
Accessories: Glass Beads and Japanese Silk
Gracie is made from hand dyed indigo muslin, thread, rice, polyfil, and horsehair.
She is 28 inches tall.
Gracie was made over a period of time when I was volunteering on the Trauma Disorders Inpatient Unit at Sheppard Pratt Hospital. While on the unit, I worked and made art with people who have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), as well as other co-occuring disorders. DID is a dissociative disorder that is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct identities, or personality states, or simply, 'parts.' The disorder is developed as a result of severe and prolonged trauma, usually experienced in childhood. On the unit, I began to think about the use of dolls both in a traditional and contemporary sense, to serve as vessels or representations of spirits, people, or distinct parts of ourselves. I think about patients I was lucky to meet on the unit when looking at Gracie. Because of this, I consider myself to have worked in collaboration with patients to make her. Without this experience, I could not have made Gracie.
Gracie is named after a horse I love who was the source of the horsehair in this piece. She is part of a horse back riding program that offers therapeutic riding lessons called The Retreat at Beckleysville. I have been both a rider and a volunteer at this program.
Charcoal and Thread on Undyed and Sumi Ink Hand-Dyed Muslin, Cream Felt and Sumi Ink Hand-Dyed Felt. On Avocado Dyed Fabric (Fall Installation)
36" x 28"
As a meditation on the changing of the seasons, the texture of the forest, and the passage of time, I installed the arms in a different configuration throughout the winter, spring, summer, and fall of 2016 in the woods behind my childhood home. There are an equal amount of both undyed and hand dyed arms. The documentation photographs follow the respective order of the seasons with which they were installed.
Thread and charcoal on muslin
53.5" x 15.5" x 3"
Shoulders, Ribs, and Pelvis
Charcoal and Ink on paper
52” x 42.5”
Found wood, thread, nail, and pencil on tracing paper
6" x 15" x 4.5"
Found wood, wire, plaster, tire, and synthetic hair
40”x 20”x 20.5”
Charcoal, ink, and acrylic on paper
last drawing was selected to be the cover image for the fall 2013 ed. of FLARE: The Flagler Review
One night I awoke and believed that there was a figure in a hat standing over me. The figure had their hands around my neck, seemingly trying to strangle me. I could not catch my breath. I felt that there were other dark figures swirling about my room. After saying "go away, go away.." in my head, and trying to stay calm, the figure disappeared, and I was once again able to breathe. By this time I was fully awake.
This drawing series was created after this experience I had with a phenomenon that I now know to be sleep paralysis, when a person, though awake, cannot move when coming out of or going into the sleep state. Episodes can last a couple seconds to a few minutes. In some cases hallucinations occur, where the person sees dark figures moving throughout the room or standing over them. They have difficulty breathing or moving, as though paralyzed. There is believed to be a connection with these experiences to stories and depictions of succubus and incubus throughout history. A figure that is commonly seen in particular is known as 'the hat man', a dark figure that appears to be wearing a hat.