A place for my mom

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Priscilla, JJW, and I went to the De Young Art Museum to participate in AAWAA’s art residency collaborative. AAWAA stands for Asian American Women’s Art Association. The theme of their residency was “A Place of Her Own”. They provided materials like boxes and fabric and such for people to come in and work on their own pieces.

Since I just got a nice new big art studio, I decided I want to focus on making a place for my mother. As many of you know, my mother has Alzheimer’s disease and she lives in a fullcare facility in Reno near my brother and his family and my father. My mom shares a room with another patient, and usually she is in her wheelchair out in the public area.

Here is my creation process:

I choose a nice wooden box and line the box sides and bottom with hana (flower) cards. My mother used to play this Japanese card game with some women friends in Lodi. I have fond memories, hearing the voices and laughter of the ladies as they visited. I place a sea urchin shell upon a nest of yarn in the box. The shell reminds me of one that she gave me wrapped in a white napkin when she returned from a trip. It seemed so fragile and beautiful – and that is how she is now. I sprinkle confetti and red string in the box too. I think she needs some fun and always liked bright cheery colors. In the inside of the lid I put a gold flattened cupcake wrapper. Now it looks like a sacred halo. On top of the halo I put a feather. Feathers are messengers from and to God. I think she may have things she may want to say. Lastly I add 2 butterflies. Butterflies for fun, for flitting around, for transformation. I feel a sense of wonder and peace having made this special place for her.

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