Iâ€™m working on my little voodoo dolls. I cut shapes out of fabric, stack the pieces right sides together and sew around the edges. Then the birthing happens, I carefully turn them right-side out. Maybe not so carefully. Often I yank, pull, and curse. Eventually, the little arms and legs appear. A small artistic creation, with a misshapen half head and a flatness that needs stuffing. Putting in the stuffing is where they start to talk to me, tell me who they are and what they want to do. Then I try to add faces and decoration that they like. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries. Like, for instance, Esther doesnâ€™t want to be quite that angry or George needs one eye bigger than the other. It takes a bit to sort all that out.
Are the little creatures art? I like to think so, but I see art all around. Back in college, there was a hierarchy of art. The painters and sculptors looked down on the potters and weavers as crafters, the advertisers and industrial designers felt they had the path to money, the rest of us thought they sold out. Often the photographers were thought of as artist wanna-bes that couldnâ€™t draw. Things could get very segregated.
Now everyone is an artist. It sure beats everyone as a critic. They told me the real world would be a dark, cruel place after school, but the real world is much more approving. There is a much larger selection of things to do, and people to do them with. Freedom to make my own art. So I make voodoo dolls.
I’m just finishing up this one, pictured. So far she’s told me she’s a girl, and she is happy with her hair, and very fond of her necklace. What she hasn’t told me yet is her name. Any suggestions?