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Welder's Daughter: The Waiting Room

Iron filings from parents steel work, rust made with filings, graphite, face shield, paper, cast paper, wood
Installation at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art
144”x 120” x 40”

Welder’s Daughter: The Waiting Room is an installation created in a time of global mourning during the summer months of the pandemic lockdowns. I uncovered pieces from Welder's Daughter, a ten year-old body of work, and designed a setting around them. At the time the ornate paper welding helmet and decorated face shield spoke about my relationship with both my father and his profession. Now the masks also talk about PPE, and how once undervalued items are now worth our lives.

I live over 700 miles from my family and hadn’t seen them in almost a year at the time of creating this work. Both my parents  had started working collaboratively in steel and they collected filings all summer to mail to NC so I could pay this tribute. The entire wallpaper pattern was made with those filings, either flocked or rusted for pigment. As I worked I could smell the familiar scent of my dad’s steel shop and felt a brief closeness to that part of my past. Even going through the King Architectural Metals catalog for pattern design flooded me with memories of childhood boredom in his office. My greatest fear is not of my own mortality but that of those closest to me, of being left behind and missing last moments because of distance.


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