I knew there would be moments like this when I left Canada. I grew up next door to my grandparents and spend time there almost every single day of my childhood. We played cards, made cookies, picked berries and did all the cliche things granddaughters do with their grandmothers. The last memory I have of her is the look on her face when I told her I was pregnant. Nannie never met my daughter, but she died with a picture of her on her nightstand, surrounded by her children and most of her grandchildren.
I cherish these memories because they are the foundation of the stories I tell my daughter about the world I grew up in. So I was thrilled when my cousin gave me Nannie’s suitcase to create a piece of art that would honored the memory of our grandmother.
I got a few people involved in the creation of this piece. My sister hunted down a family photo taken at our parent’s wedding. I spent a little time at Staples blowing up the picture so I could cut Nan out of it. Check out the original shot here, my mom is the red head in green.
Mom found a few recipes hand written by Nannie that I photocopied onto linen paper to maintain the aged and distressed look of the originals.
I spent a little time looking for a tea cup in local antique shops that I could break apart and reshape on the suitcase. I got the idea for this during our stop in Philadelphia on our trip up to Canada. We walked by wall murals made up of broken tiles and found objects. Beautiful!
I used little things to tie it all together, like the paper I found that reminds me of the crazy green wall paper they had in the living room and the flowers that remind me of the colossal wild rose bush that grew at the bottom of the driveway. Because the suitcase will be displayed and not used as a traditional suitcase I sealed the memory collage with beeswax.
Mixed media is the perfect genre to create an art piece full of family memories. Each token has it’s own story linking us all together in the past, present and future.