P Project

Passage

Passage was a mixed media installation created at the Hewlett Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA in 1997. This piece was based in part on the megalithic passage graves found in the British Isles and Europe: circular funereal mounds containing womb-like interior passages that not only house the dead, but also evoke images of gestation, birth and organic process. In the room preceding my passage, drawings made with old papers and book pages hung like markers, perhaps prayer flags which one might find at or near a sacred site. Participants were offered a candle before entering a passage whose "stones" were made from hand seen and dyed fabric sacks stuffed with a pungent mulch. Sounds of muffled whispers were heard from deep within the passage creating an impression of voices from the past -- an ancient presence lingering within the space. Fund throughout the installation, scores of small sculptural "relics" -- objects found or made, objects charred or rubbed, objects wrapped in wire, gauze, cloth and hair, objects dipped in wax, blood or dye -- confronted visitors with questions about an imagined culture, decayed yet strangely alive: a personal archaeology, a collective memory.