mortcloth / mapcloth

2011


statement

Through this work, I seek to understand how everyday objects assist us in transitioning through the difficult process of grief/mourning. I am interested in how mourning and commemorations are contained within objects and our constructed systems. During the process of mourning, objects and places can link us to loved ones that have passed or moments in life that are fleeting.

Here you will see a topographical map of a section of Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. This is where my brother was shot and killed while hunting in 2002. I would like to use his clothing (dyed black and grey - to reference mourning and grief) to define the hills, train tracks, creek, and roads around the area where he died. Since his death, my relationship to this area 
— once a place of comfort — has shifted to being a place of longing. The size of the cloth is significant, it is the width and height of my brother, alluding to his presence or lack of. The shape of the cloth is reminiscent of a mortcloth or pallcloth, which is a cloth that covers a casket. At one point in time, pallbearers would walk alongside the casket and pallcloth, holding onto the edges of the cloth as a sign of respect for the dead.

Materials

Cotton, clothing from my deceased brother, beads, gold leaf, dye