Friday, March 8, 2013

Dreaming of a Coral Mask

For the past several nights, I've been dreaming about a piece of art that I have yet to make.  I see it so clearly in my dreams.

Last week, I met with two colleagues for our postponed poetry day.  We had planned to meet on Valentine's Day and to eat red velvet cake.  We had planned to write poems inspired by the Poe story "The Masque of the Red Death."  Life got in the way, and our poetry date was postponed until Feb. 28.

We made good use of the time.  One colleague is working on her MFA.  She found a treasure trove of glass Christmas ornaments, and she made a red mask.  I had a vision of a flat, glittery Mardi Gras mask, but what she created was so much more wonderful.  If I wore what she made, it would completely cover my face; in fact, it would cover over half my head.

But I wouldn't wear what she made because it is too jagged.  She arranged pieces to jut out and to resemble orifices and other facial feature.  The whole thing is both delicate and frightening.  She put it on a styrofoam head that she's covered in fake, white fur.

We looked at a book that the library has on the work of Alexander McQueen.  We decided that for our next get-together, we'd write poems based on some work of his.  And then we decided to make some kind of physical object.

My spouse and I are clearing out a lot of our stuff.  We have lots of coral that we've picked up through the years.  My spouse has talked about repurposing it.

Alexander McQueen has dresses made of shells.  And this week, I've found myself literally dreaming of making a head or a mask out of the coral.  I've been waking up with Shakespeare's lines in my head:  "Full fathom five thy father lies."  I've been trying to remember how that piece of text weaves its way through James Joyce.

Can I get the coral to stay attached to a styrofoam head?  It's heavier than glass ornament shards.

Well, we shall see.  Stay tuned!

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