Carnival of Saints + Souls

by angeliska on October 5, 2010

I’ve been making art again, lately – all for gallery shows, and with that
comes the pressure, the deadlines, that actually gets me motivated to
create something. I miss having time just to sketch, or doodle, or make
art that isn’t destined for a gift, or for a show, but it’s a start – this whip!
I like making things with a purpose. I suppose I’m very pragmatic that
way, but it feels good to have a goal. My mind needs that line to get the
flow going, I suppose. When it’s flowing, it feels so right. Here’s to more
of that, eh? My next project is a piece for The Multispecies Salon 3: SWARM
show this November, also in New Orleans
. I’m almost done with that one!
Saints Nita + Zita
I made two pieces for the Carnival of Saints + Souls, an exhibit
of doll-art and photography curated by my dear friend Miss Christy
. It was held at Poet’s Gallery on Magazine St. in New Orleans.
I was delighted to show pieces with the following fine ladies:
Jennybird Alcantara
Loopy Boopy
Dame Darcy
Sheri DeBow
Christy Kane
Pandora Gastelum
Miss Oblivious
Liz McGrath
Molly McGuire
Angela Raney
Darla Teagarden
Lateefah Wright
Saints Nita + Zita
I knew I wanted to do a piece honoring Nita + Zita as patron twin-saints
of New Orleans, and of dancers, costumers and immigrants. I knew at
once that I had to turn them into paper dolls, and luckily the piece came
together basically as I had imagined it, with much help from my sweetheart
in the carpentry department (though I did get very handy with the puzzle
saw and sandpaper!) The main trick was trying to paint it in their distinctive
folk-art style, without worrying that it might just look like I didn’t know how
to paint. That’s the hard thing about making art specifically for shows: the
embedded audience, with their imagined opinions. Unfortunately, I have
a bit of a tree-falls-in-the-woods complex, and most things I’m interested
in doing involve some sort of audience. It’s just the way I’m wired, I reckon,
but I don’t do many projects just for my own pleasure. It’s all about the
interactive experience for me – case in point, this Gazette! So, on that
note – thank you for being here, for experiencing this with me, for reading,
for looking. I think about you more than you might know, and I don’t think
that’s a bad thing. Back to Nita + Zita, though: you can take their little outfits
off the tiny hangers and dress them! My inner seven year old was thrilled.
St. Apollonia
My second piece was a bit more cathartic, as I’ve been experiencing
some pretty intense dental trauma this year. Maybe I’ll write about it
at some point, but for now I’ll just create patron saints to help me through
it. Reading about Saint Apollonia on Lady Lavona’s Cabinet of Curiosities
made me think of it – I knew immediately that I needed to create an icon
to house the pain and distress of having super-involved dental work done,
and to perhaps, through the act of making, offer some succor. I think she did.
St. Apollonia
“Saint Apollonia was one of a group of virgin martyrs who suffered in
Alexandria during a local uprising against the Christians prior to the
persecution of Decius. According to legend, her torture included
having all of her teeth violently pulled out or shattered. For this reason,
she is popularly regarded as the patroness of dentistry and those suffering
from toothache or other dental problems.”

from Wikipedia
St. Apollonia
I was so happy to find that I already had everything I needed to make her come
to life already in my possession: marbles, a broken porcelain doll, hanks of human
hair, red thread, teeth molds and color model teeth to make her halo/crown, and then
the perfect fragment of old lace to make her skirt from. Love it when things come together
like that, don’t you? It also feels good to take old things and pull them into new forms.

I so, so wish I could’ve attended the opening party! Alas, it was the same night as Tranarchy!
Miss Angie Raney made this incredible spread of delectables – aren’t they incredible? Want!

(Photo by Christy Kane)
Oh! I almost forgot to mention, but I had the pleasure of interviewing Miss Melora Creager
for Coilhouse recently! Christy Kane took some beautiful portraits to accompany the piece.
So, between travel, art-making, Tranarchy and a dozen other projects, I’ve had my hands quite
full! Hoping for a bit of a lull at some point, so that I might catch my breath, and even recount
more of my San Franciscan adventures, but we shall see what the cards hold for my autumn!
Melora Creager: Sweet Sister Temperance


As always I’m inspired coming here to look and read.
I was thinking you would probably like this link
As a matter of fact you ought to be on it.
Now I’m going to go read your interview with Melora!

by SimpleSue on October 6, 2010 at 9:05 pm. Reply #

Your toothy friend leaves me speechless, I mean really! Fantastique! I quite enjoyed the interview, BTW.

by mlle ghoul on October 7, 2010 at 10:16 am. Reply #

Your Nita + Zita piece is glorious! You totally captured their delightful painted patterns. Ah, wish I could see the show!

by Eliza on October 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm. Reply #

Love it all – the Saint Appollonia doll is fantastic, and I know all about tooth drama. I have more dental work than everyone I know…combined. So, I empathize, girl.

by Lorra on October 7, 2010 at 9:02 pm. Reply #

I’ve only met you a handful or so times, and it’s always been in some wild flurry of activity, so I don’t know you all that well! Just so, I had a funny dream last night that myself and a ragtag group of strangers broke you out of prison! It’s strange for me to dream about strangers, and stranger yet for the stranger herself, I would imagine! Anyhow, the prison looked like an old Catholic elementary school…on the other side of the bars was a big old-timey elevator gate and on the other side of that was a room that looked much like the room Art Church was held in back in the day…you were very insistent to get out, and quite bossy! All ended well, you’ll be pleased to hear.

by lanternamagica on October 14, 2010 at 11:05 pm. Reply #

I love the Saint Apollonia. In the midst of some dental trauma myself and have been reading up on her for some inspiration to get through it all. Your art is creepy and awesome. Hope your own tooth issues have been long resolved!

by Sienna on March 15, 2015 at 11:33 am. Reply #

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