Patti Edmon Altered Attic: Dia de Los Muertos

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dia de Los Muertos



When my daughter told me her class was going on a field trip to the Lexington Cemetery, I wasn't surprised. It is historic, majestic, with lovely seasonal displays of color and flower. The date did stop me though. October 14, the birthday of my dear friend Sally (and my kids' godmother), who passed away in August of '07.
My daughter has a history of 'seeing angels,' and I've never questioned her, but I've been envious. Children are so open that they don't filter out the many wonders of the universe that we often walk by without noticing. 
I have been thinking a great deal about my Aunt who died in June, the long talks we had when I was directionless in my early 20s, and later when I had relationship 'issues.' She was always there for me and in many ways she still is. I can feel her presence, as I can Sally's; they both left such wonderful, honorable legacies, women who will long be remembered as giving, compassionate, understanding, powerful...
I have wanted to make an ofrenda for the past few years, during the Dia de los Muertos festival, which has blossomed in Lexington, in part thanks to my daughter's ballet company, whose founder is from Mexico. Adalhi choreographed an entire ballet based on the day set aside to celebrate life by honoring death. 
Ofrendas, or alters, are usually 3-dimensional, made in boxes or on stands but I wanted to work flat. I used a large, chipboard tag, Day of the Dead bead/charms I found at Stampington that are really cool, (made by Connie at Altered Route), a packing tape transfer and an illustration my husband did last year for the ballet. The photo I used for the packing tape transfer doesn't show up in the scan - it's the same one I used for one of the charms. Taken 50 or more years ago, my aunt was looking out over water and the image fills me with curiosity, a longing to know what she saw in the distant landscape. (click on the photos for a larger view)
While it isn't as grand as many of the larger pieces artists make, it is far more practical; I can enjoy it all year long. And it sparked a lot of ideas about ways my husband - a fine artist and illustrator - can collaborate. Celebrate. Life.


11 comments:

Sherry said...

Beautiful Patti. Our remembrances of those we miss who are no longer with us physically but very much spiritually give us many gifts. One such is that you and your husband have found another way to work together, to collaborate and share your love of art. If your daughter sees Angels, then she is blessed indeed.

My sympathies on your losses but I feel blessed that you have shared your thoughts and in doing so kept these wonderful women alive in your world.

Altered Route said...

How lucky to have a talented husband to collaborate with! Thanks for the 'shout-out' about the Charms...they look great on your wonderful tags!!
I really have been having fun seeing how they are being used by such talented gals through blogging. If there are others who read this ...please share!!
Connie

Sandra Evertson said...

Beautiful!
Sandra

purplepaint said...

Oh these are so cool! Thank you for visiting my blog and your comments on my blog. Yes, I have 3 teenagers, they're used to the mess. :D Marva

Contessa Kris said...

The tag to commemorate this friendship is beautiful. A great way to remember a friend.

I wanted to stop by in case you had not seen that you won a prize on my blog. I'm packing prizes up for mailing and would need your mailing address. kristuey@sbcglobal.net Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog during my birthday. I really appreciate it.

Heather said...

These are absolutely beautiful! Im sure your aunt would love them. I wish we had a Dia festival around here, I think it is such a wonderful holiday!~

Dream With the Fishes said...

It came out beautiful. I think it's perfect that the transfer came out as it did, very ethereal-looking. It's kind of symbolic, really...though no longer in this world in body, your aunt's spirit is still very much present and inspiring you in creative ways. Keep on encouraging your daughter to trust her visions! Children can teach us so much. Many blessings! Serena

soulbrush said...

this is truly beautiful.

N.Vasillis said...

Beautiful! Now I'm inspired.

Deb G said...

What a wonderful way to remember.

H. Buchholz said...

Super cool!

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