Don't be UGLY
"Don't be UGLY..." My
grandma always said.
" Little girls are pretty, get those rocks out of your head."
" Mud and dirt and bugs, best left to the boys,
and tea cup sets and baby dolls, are what little girls enjoy."
Well I'm grown up now and I've seen a lot
and here is what I've learned:
Ugly to me is different now,
it can mean broken, smashed or burned.
It is jealousy and envy,
it is greed and war and sin,
hate and death and -- I was homeless once
so where do I begin?
To decorate or be ornate
and be true to this rhyme
helped me think of how I could describe
a once most difficult time.
It was of poverty and bad luck for me
but no drugs or alcohol.
With chaos and high school stress
I felt backed against a wall.
In time my creative skills
would earn me a few hot meals.
I got my head on straight and would clean my plate
and sleep off all raw deals.
Using my hands -- the tools GOD gave,
a sewing machine and time,
wood and fabric, paper and glue
into dumpsters I would dive.
I made broken things work
and mended many lives along the way
using materials found all around
trash to treasure" I would say.
The jewelry I submit to you,
in my eyes very ugly
but it represents the pain of life
often hard to see.
Bits and pieces of this and that
woven with history
of a life once way off course yet back on track
and well....that's it... just ME.
The popsicle stick hooks
into the washer.
|LIST OF MATERIALS:
A famous homeless person said that one day everyone would know the true
meaning of recycle.
1. Yuck Yarn: ok, hello, the main color reminded me of baby poop so I
had to use it as a base for the whole creation and the sum of all of its
parts. The black yarn, well, there wasn't going to be a happy color in
2. Wire: Colored wire from the telephone guy who laughed at my project.
He was going to throw the scrap bundle of multicolored plastic coated
wire away...you believe that? The copper wire is from a scrap yard. I
traded a pound of aluminum cans for about 5 feet of wire. The silver wire
is stripped from speakers and electronics a that don't work, but it's
not real silver that might actually be worth something. There are twist
ties from garbage bags and moldy bread bags too.
3. Safety Pins: I wore them as a fashion item before they were popular.
4. Pop Tops: Off of beer cans...way too many beer cans. (Not mine!)
5. Aluminum Foil: Found wrapped around a 1/2 eaten sandwich in a garbage
6. Fish Stringer Hooks: ("victim rock" is hung from it) "Give
a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach a man to fish, and he will
eat as long as the fish are biting."
7. Metal Washers: Not that I would but, if you get one the right size
and weight I've heard that it will pass as a quarter in a pop machine...not
that I would.
8. Key: To the door of opportunity...?
9. Screws and Nails: "If you screw up you get nailed!!"
10. Broken Metal Car: It varies between #4 and the picture it is displayed
with...take your pick.
11. Jewelry bits & beads: Unto themselves they once were pretty but
most break when slammed against a wall in a fit of drug induced rage.
I salvaged some of them from an apartment floor. The sequin was from the
topless dancer's costume.
12. Rocks: Found them in a rain soaked mud puddle. On one there is "graffiti".
13. A Stick: This was from an ocean storm. It was washed ashore along
with other storm debris.
14. Triangle dog tag: I can't imagine Rabies as pretty, can you?
15. Puzzle pieces: unfinished, never started, no box, missing...
16. Tooth pick: Nothing pretty about spinach in your teeth.
17. Clothing scraps: Goodwill or Salvation Army's finest "couture."
18. Green woven burlap: from a sack of rice maybe for a 3rd world country
too poor to feed itself
19. Clear plastic fork: looks like it was used as a weapon (simulated
with red nail polish)
20. Blue plastic ring: from a recycled sour milk jug cap.
21. White plastic zip tie: So strong that there is a larger version
used by police for hand cuffs.
22. Popsicle stick: burnt on one end. It was used to help light a candle
for someone who lost their electricity.
23. Duct Tape, Newspaper & Cardboard: with these things you can build
a cardboard mansion fit for any homeless king or queen.
24. Paper price tag: a bit of blue string and an old paper tag. Something
at one point had value.
25. Burnt rope: Suicide? Don't even go there.
26. News paper print & Photos: reality isn't copywritten and neither
are these images, I checked them out. Look closely and you will find:
The World Trade Towers, a doll in the ashes of the aftermath, Hurricane
Katrina floods (inside a waterproof zip lock bag there is dirt and shredded
money to symbolize the cost of clean up and restoration in New Orleans),
fires, homelessness, drug use (this photo was pierced with a needle too),
alcoholism, car accident, "U.S. Attacked", tornado and other
The empty tube of black acrylic paint...it is black...and it is empty...and
it is at the bottom of this creation. For me the symbol or center, painting
or coating, if you will, the darkness for the whole necklace.
Now that is my "UGLY"....
have created this "necklace" for your contest. ... What I wasn't
anticipating was the events that unfolded in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama
during my artistic process. Those eerily coincided with it's ultimate feeling
and message that I was, in pieces, trying to convey...that of UGLY. I was almost
finished adding the bits & pieces when I turned on the TV September 1st.
to witness the horror of Hurricane Katrina and now the current aftermath and
clean up efforts. Those images added to the "UGLY" of my creation.
I had already thought of the events of 9-11-01, but the news photos from the
internet about the southern states in such disarray had to be added. In my own
artistic way, I hope to have memorialized and not made political the images and
the true feeling of UGLY....but to be worn with the sense that
NO ONE IS FORGOTTEN OR LEFT BEHIND...SOMETIMES JUST BEING 'HUMAN' IS UGLY.