I made this in October 2011 for a Dia de los Muertos show a the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA, and never got around to posting about it. Never too late (even if it is 3 years later…)!
I had had the idea in the back of my head for a while. It is a reliquary for nature’s vanishing elements. But all of the requirement for the Dia de los Muertos altar fit too, so that gave me a deadline.
This piece is made of out of some new materials, but includes many found objects, as well as some fused plastic bag pouches that hold spices and other materials.
Four sides, four levels (air/feather, land/lotus, fire/charcoal, sea/shell
Four senses (taste/food, smell/flowers, touch/sea, sight or hearing/sky)
Four directions, etc. etc.
Fire (Food) – orange peel, flax paper, chili peppers, corn, oats, rice, cloves
Air (Trees) – birch bark, willow branch, cicada wings, maple seeds, beech leaf,
Earth (Plants) – rose, hysdrangea, lily, lavender, little blue stem, hand milagro, cork(s), Japanese lantern plant
Water (Sea) – sharks teeth, mother of pearl buttons, sea glass, seaweed, beach stone, salt, mica
it has a crown of thorns, four beeswax candles, at the top
Also, objects on each level, housed within the compartments include: eggs (top level, air); silkworm cocoons (middle level, trees); sea urchins (bottom level, sea)