Sunday, May 14, 2017

Carving is Brutal

Most of Saturday was spent writing back and forth with Bruce’s friends. Then I did what I always do: I thoroughly cleaned my place so that today I could get back to work on my dress, making a mess. It makes no sense at all but it’s what I always do.
While I work, I think of my buddy so sick in Ravenna.
I know this isn’t a pretty or funny dress like the others. This one, though, is the dress that gives the entire show its name. All the other dresses are from stories told to Charlotte; this one is her own creation, about her story. Young and as yet inexperienced, she chose a story from the newspapers.
Its shape evokes the base of a tree because this dress is inspired by the heartbreak Charlotte felt for a young Sikh girl murdered by her peers — girls she thought were her friends. Her story gutted Charlotte (me). Reena Virk was murdered outside and under a wooden pier in Victoria so the shape of the skirt is reminiscent of the base of a tree; its colour and the striations on the surface are meant to look like bone because she was badly beaten and concussed. But it’s conceived as the armour she needed to protect her so I like that it resembles cement, too.
This morning I used thin firm wire to pull the front half of my defiant dress skirt back into its proper shape. Now I’m carving out the letters and boy is it hard. My arms are going to ache. It takes about half an hour to carve and re-surface the inside edges of each letter. It’s going to take three hours to do one word: Survivor. This dress is going to take months — I couldn’t be happier.
What you see is what I wanted. I can’t believe I got so close to what I saw in my imagination.

Pearl and ceramic mistletoe!

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