Tuesday, November 3, 2009

#99 "What's in a word?"

#99 Lori Mai Shapley of Lexington, KY

“What’s in a word?”

Embellishments & Techniques: Spectra Art bleeding tissue paper, silk flowers, embroidery thread & needles, Sharpie markers, oval and round wooden wafers, decoupage medium and brushes, dremel, colored computer paper and printer, gold jump rings and pliers, and breast cancer ribbon fabric.

I applied various pieces of the tissue paper to the bra, wet them, and waited. The process is amazing and fun to watch! As the colors mix, I reminisce about the many beautiful rainbows, sunrises and sunsets I have seen. I let it dry and worked on the words. I used wooden wafers to decoupage the words onto. First I printed out my personally chosen words (with the help of my “southern sister”) on the computer. I cut them out and burned the edges for an older, more distressed look. I glued the words on and decoupaged over them. After they dried, I drilled holes with a dremel and sewed the wafers on the bra. Next I colored silk flowers with a Sharpie marker. I sewed them on with embroidery thread and needle in an imperfect haphazard way. This was to represent how our lives are never perfect, but there is always strength and beauty around us if we take and make the time to look. The title of my project “What’s in a Word?”, I fastened across the top of the bra. At the bottom of it, I draped my favorite words of Mother Theresa. The gold jump rings linked together represent strength, the power and impact of words and what they can achieve. The large bra had no underwire to support, so I had to improvise accordingly on the inside to show off my embellishments. This project was a very fun, interesting and cathartic experience. I am thankful for the opportunity to express myself!

Artist’s Statement: This artistic endeavor was done in honor of my mother Nellie Shapley, who twice successfully fought breast cancer. Growing up in Binghamton, New York, I had a wonderful childhood with many opportunities for travel and learning. One of my favorite memories was family and friends sitting at the kitchen table playing games. We had hundreds to choose from but always seemed to play the same ones over and over. My mother really enjoyed Scrabble, Boggle, Scattegories and the daily paper Jumble. As a result of this I was proud to say my grammar and articulation benefited. I was able to learn so many different words and their various meanings. I feel the most important benefit was to realize the amazing effect words can have. With that I have attained the greatest empathy for all!

I cannot image being told that I have breast cancer ... my mother had those words spoken to her twice and my “southern sister” once. They both successfully fought the disease. My mother has since passed away, but was a healthy, happy survivor of breast cancer for many, many years. From talking to my sister about her experiences in survival, I came up with the idea for this project. She enlightened me about the effect of the words that were spoken to her through the process. She specifically remembered the words “positive”, “success”, “sharing” and “compassion”, as the ones that were the most meaningful to her. So I have done this project in honor of my mother, but I am dedicating it to my “southern sister”. Thanks SIS!

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