objects of mourning: Liminality



From June 21st, 2009 to June 21st 2010, I constructed and wore a brooch a day for the duration of the year.  The brooches are made from, among many significant objects, black and grey fabrics, so familiar to the women of the Victorian Era who took on the burden of publically mourning.  This time, set aside every day, to construct a brooch, whether it was few minutes or an hour, allowed me the space to consider more deeply my relationship with loved ones, who have passed away.  It afforded me the opportunity to reflect on the constant, and exhausting work involved in moving through the grieving process.  Wearing the brooch, on a daily basis, became a signifier and prosthetic, but they now serve as conduits for memory to reside: offering an opportunity to reconsider the void within our inward and outward mourning practice. 

Liminality also makes references to our contemporary memorial ribbons, which are, other than roadside memorial cross and memorial websites, one of the few contemporary signifiers of mourning and grief within our culture.  Analogists to a scar or emptiness, the ribbon filled with the brooches allows the viewer to enter into that sliver of space between experience and understanding, displacement and stability, as well as remembrance and loss.


Satin, velvet, felt, seed beads, cast paper pulp, cast plastic, paint, wool, yarn, embroidery floss, variety of fabrics (tulle, interfacing, lace, domestic fabrics, found doilies, clothing from my deceased grandfather, father and brother), hair from my deceased brother, hair from deceased cat, one of the12 gauge shotgun shell BB pellets that killed my brother, and many other significant found objects