Please note that due to the subject matter of this project (death/grief) some of the images on this blog might be disturbing.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mary Bogdan

This triptych is a homage to my father, my father-in-law (both born in 1926 within three months of each other, and passed away in 2004 within three months of each other), and my first pet Pluto (Plutonium) who passed away in 2008 just a few months shy of 16 was born on my father’s birthday and cremated on my mother’s.

This piece, which hangs vertically, (my father at the top, my father-in-law at the center, and my Pluto at the bottom) incorporates items that symbolize who they were. At the center of each piece is real hair, mine (for my father), my husband's (for my father-in-law) and Pluto's.

Each of the three pieces is created on one of my father-in-law's used handkerchiefs (courtesy of my mother-in-law Sylvia) and cross-stitch fabric, stitched together with needlepoint threads, and covered with organza fabric. The threads hang from one piece into another, as a connection or bonding or symbolizing the threads of life.

There is a veil-like quality to them, a kind of melting together of objects and ideas. I believe that these three souls were connected even if only in their connection to us. But their deaths touched us so much and so deeply and in our grief we were expanded to something more, something deeper... or perhaps just a deeper understanding of the experience of loss… of life... and death... and they gave us a new beginning.

I still feel my father's hand on my shoulder, guiding me and grounding me… feeling a full sense of him (even if I didn't feel it while he was alive.)

My Pluto sits in our home still (in a beautiful blue and white porcelain vase), and whenever I hold her close to my heart, she vibrates her love and her essence to me.

Thank you, Alojz, Yechiel and Pluto for adding such a fullness to my life, even in your death.


"Alojz" My Father: my hair (at center), dress patterns, tools, piece of cloth from man's suit, button, german, bible, slovenian, white cord from large spool, lesters saucisses fumees wrapper, wine bottle cork foil, fortune-cookie fortune: "nature, time and patience are the three great physicians"

11"w x 13.5"h

"Yechiel" My Father-In-Law: my husband's hair (at center), music, german, aldo shoe wrapper, brail, large print readers digest, hebrew old testament, kepa skull cap, lace female head covering (kepa), fortune-cookie fortune: "if your desires are not extravagant, they will be granted"

16"w x 17.5"h

"Pluto" My First Pet: my dog's hair (at center), tim hortons sandwich wrapper, used medical gauze, mesh onion bag, rabies vaccination heart tag, vaccination certificates 2004 & 2005, safety pin, checkerboard sandwich wrapper, hair from Satchi Sasquatch (our pet cat) and Halle Bop (our pet dog), fortune-cookie fortune: "you get what you want through your charm and personality"

11"w x 12.5"h

Mary Bogdan, Triptych, mixed media assemblage with handkerchiefs, 2010. Total height approx 46 inches (not including the hanging threads at bottom).

1 comment:

  1. mary, i really like how you used three hankies and created a triptych. all the overlaying pieces give me the feeling of the depth of your connections.