Tuesday 13 January 2015

Disappeared #43

Disappeared #43 has now been installed and can be seen until January 19th, here is some background information about the piece.

"Mexico: Students killed and others missing in Guerrero
On 26 September 2014, students were intercepted by Mexican police patrols firing shots and then later attacked by unknown individuals in Iguala, Guerrero state. At least six people were killed, 20 were injured and the whereabouts of 38 remain unknown.

Fear and fury in Mexico as mass graves hint at fate of missing students
They were young people for whom teaching was the only way out of poverty. But when they demonstrated over hiring practices, the drug cartels and police showed no mercy
Jo Tuckman, Iguala, Mexico
The Observer, Sunday 12 October 2014"

The students names also lie inside the greenhouse under the gloves 

The box has been filled with bay leave, dry rose thorns, other branches and rosemary, sadly I no longer have a sense of smell but the installation soon began to fill the corridor with fragrance, even if you didn't see it you would be able to smell it. 

The gloves suggest the way in which those left behind also remain buried, they have no body they are stuck between hope and fear for their loved ones, as are all who have missing friends or family. 

A laurel wreath

Names in suspension

From below

A basin for washing - hands, bodies, bones.
A dead Bay branch.
The gloves are for the family. 
The copper tags name each missing student.

Many thanks to Sharon M Read to Gallery 202 for inviting me to make this piece for The Box Gallery in Walgrave building at the University of Northampton. You can see further images here

There are packets of bay leaves dried from my own bay tree, one packet for each missing student. Why bay leaves?

Bay (Laurus nobilis)
From Legend and Lore to Fragrance and Flavor

“A crown of bay good fortune brings

to poets, cooks, scholars, kings.
--Carolyn Dille & Susan Belsinger

Bay was first an herb of poets, but also of oracles, warriors, statesmen, and doctors. The leaves were made into wreaths for illustrious poets and the ancients used them to crown heroes.
Bay laurel was the symbol of wisdom, both acquired and intuitive. This herb seems a good fit with all those that strive to study, their thoughts and deeds and flavour to the world.
I hope viewers will take a packet and in using them will spare a thought for the missing, not just the #43 but all those who have been lost or disappeared.

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