Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Blues Chapel in Edgefield


Over the weekend I packed the van. The church pew has been inside my van for over two weeks. It seemed the only place to store it. In the meantime, Steve worked with the iPod...checking the Blues music, the wiring, and the speaker system. "Church bulletins" for the pews, exhibition brochures, a new resume and list of included work, and a new sign were printed. New votive candles were purchased. Everything was ready to go yesterday morning.

We leisurely drove to Edgefield, South Carolina. It's a little over an hours drive. The installation went as smoothly as I'd hoped. Everything looks wonderful....except the electrical outlets. There was no way to effectively hide them....unless I create something....like, perhaps a bucket of additional artificial roses slightly sprayed with black paint....something to think about.

There's a very good chance the the exhibition will be extended. This would be a wonderful opportunity for the Region 2 Discovery Center to publicize the show. It would also allow me to simply move these pieces directly to the larger exhibition scheduled for Pickens County Museum. I hope this works out.

This is the first time I've hung Bessie's Quilt, The Madonna of the Blues icon, and the fifteen pieces in the series "Elements in Blue". There will be a reception but the dates haven't been finalized yet.

We only used one string of twinkle lights but it was exactly enough. The wooden offering plates are also new to the installation. They've been borrowed from my neighbor. In each one is an old 45 record onto which I collaged a Blues label.

The "church bulletin" and fans sit on the pew. The bulletin reads like a Sunday service...with two "readings", hymns, a homily, a note of floral dedication, and a benediction. Obviously, the hymns are lyrics to Blues songs. The readings include the mission statement of the AME Church. The homily is a thumbnail of each of the twenty-four Blues singers with a brief biography. There's a mention of Mother's Day too...which is a day during the exhibition. I used a verse suggested from an AME church website for this occasion....strong, powerful, and very appropriate to the spirit of this installation.

The music is set on a low volume but is clearly the Blues....Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, and Nina Simone.

I took a few videos with my camera and will try posting them too.

I hope everyone seeing this exhibition is moved.


Wanda said...

Susan, I am in awe. I don't even know what to say. Even though I am looking at pictures, I practically 'feel' the chapel. It must be a powerful experience. Totally humbling for me and a place of respect.

Annica said...

It looks wonderful! I hope it will be very successful!