This installation consists of a 5′ x 8′ print on paper, a collection of carved wooden block sculptures of various sizes, a set of chess pieces whittled from twigs, a dried common mullein plant, a representation of a monumental roadside religious pilgrimage site built by a distant cousin of mine, my grandmother’s drawing of a piece of driftwood, and the actual piece of driftwood.
The matrices from which the print was made are carved and engraved on the set of sculptural blocks. Some are patterns, others contain images and/or words, while still others are typographic sets of letters and punctuation marks in two different sizes. I have been carving this series of blocks and printing them in various combinations since 2005. For awhile I was doing street performances using the blocks, in a project I called Footprint Factory, and they were also a part of A Work of Art.
The chess pieces are arranged such that all the high ranking pieces have not moved from where they started, but the pawns are gathered at the center of the board, as though conspiring together around a long feasting table laden with food.
When I was young, my family, like the vast majority of families that share this planet, did not have a lot of money. We struggled to get by in those days, and in some ways we still do. Although we lacked financial resources, we had another kind of wealth. We had love for each other, for the land where we lived, for our neighbors, and for people and places far away. This work considers the immense, immeasurable value of love, in contrast to the quantifiable, comparatively meager value of money. The distance between these understandings of existence is enormous, and yet overlaps succinctly in each person’s life.