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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Alter It Monthly--"Remnants of Katrina"





I have just completed a piece for the “Rust” challenge on Alter It Monthly. Although the challenge does not begin until September 1,
I am posting it early. There is a reason: This piece is in honor of all of those impacted by Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005 and was created to commemorate the 5 Year Anniversary of the event.

I moved here right after the hurricane. My husband and I rebuilt a house that had been under 10 feet of water...Several homes in my neighborhood floated away. The one we purchased did not have walls, floors, windows, or doors when we bought it...It took 9 months to rebuild.




Here is the piece before I did anything to it. It was created from part of a trailer hitch that brought in a pre-fab home to friends of ours, Parker and Cathy after the storm. It has rusted in the last few years and when I went out in search of something rusted, they found it for me--such good friends!

This piece is replete with symbolism. There is a cross dangling from the piece as it was people’s faith that pulled them through. The cross is hanging from fishing tackle as many people in this area make their living from the sea. But, there’s more...We are still living with the reality of the Gulf Oil Spill that affected our water and beaches. There is a little bottle of sand to connote that. There is a rusted nail left over from the reconstruction.



And last but not least is the fleur de lis, the symbol of New Orleans in addition to a metal token that says “Forevermore.” Simply put, people who live here have deep ties and are here to stay. Of course, New Orleans is perhaps best known for jazz, so the music had to be part of this piece because music is always the backdrop to so many happy times that transpire here.

Lastly, when all of the rebuilding was done, the thing that was missing was grass and flowers...So, when we planted them, it looked like life had returned! These pictures are in honor of the rebirth of this area.

P.S. You can't tell from the picture, but this piece is really, really heavy!

37 comments:

Barbara said...

Wow that art piece really has an impact and a message. Why was it that you moved to New Orleans after Katrina if you weren't living there before? Don't you worry that there might be a repeat of Katrina some day? Just asking. I think it's terrific that you and many others had the courage to rebuild and reinvigorate the city of New Orleans, and now look at the Gulf Oil spill. Wow I don't understand how our country can send so much aid and money to other countries when they need it but we can't help our own citizens when they need it after floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters.

Hugs and prayers XX
Barbara
Moore Whimsies

Gerry's Soap N Stuff said...

What a beautiful art memorial. God bless the people of that disaster area. Gerry

MosaicMagpie said...

Such a great symbolic piece. It does not seem like it was 5 years ago. I can close my eyes and still see those streets filled with water. The people that did not leave and the ones that could not, lived through such desperate times.
Debbie

Shabby Cottage Studio said...

Wonderful commemorative piece Cindy. And what a job you undertook with your home!

Theresa said...

Cindy, that is just wonderful. So soulfull, a true piece of art. Art with meaning. This doesn't happen often, but I am at a loss for words. Really Beautiful. Theresa xoxo

Linda said...

Such a lovely, meaningful piece, Cindy! I really enjoyed visiting New Orleans last year~ wonderful city...

Wendy said...

This a beautiful piece, physically and spiritually. I believe what goes into the artwork is actually what gives that piece it's true value and your story is so very touching.
The piece you created is truly a work of art.
Spells and Wishes,
Wendy from Wonderland

Junibears said...

This piece just about takes my breath away Cindy!
So much meaning and thought and love went into it's creation. I can't believe it's 5 years either.
Hugs
June xx

Fabric Art said...

Cindy your piece is fantastic full of things which all represent and tells about people who have experienced great sorrow, great art piece, love your work and the idea behind it.
Hugs Anni

Cheryl said...

oh cindy what a wonderful piece,and really represents and tells a story of which you have experienced great sorry,wonderful art work,hugs cheryl xxxxxxx

T's Daily Treasures said...

Hi Cindy, I love this and all that it symbolizes.

I also loved hearing Sara and Josh on your other blog. Both have magnificent voices.

How sweet that you received a lovely surprise by mail. Girl, you are truly blessed ... and busy! I can't keep up.

Have a fabulous Friday! :) Tammy

Marie Lost Bird Studio said...

Hi Cindy,
what a beautiful and soulful piece of art!!
Thank you for sharing.Have a wonderful weekend.
Hugs,
Marie

Netty said...

Cindy, I saw the event you are talking about on the news in the UK and could see it was devastating, but somehow knowing you has made it even more real. You are both so brave and determined people. Am proud to know you.
Your piece is fabulous like the rest of your art. Annette x

Ozma of Odds said...

...such a lovely artistic expression! ~ and a positive way to turn something so very hurtful and destructive into something that actually could bring healing and closure!
xo, Rosemary

Nancy Y said...

Cindy, This is such an amazing piece of art! It's beyond beautiful! The story of your home is so inspiring, I would have never guessed it had been destroyed by the hurricane. You took something so tragic and turned it into something positive and beautiful!

Faye said...

Wow, Cindy, this is an awesome memorial to the faith and determination of the people of that area. Your home is gorgeous and I know it didn't just happen.

Yes, the Coronado Island is THE Coronado. We were newlyweds, dirt poor and in debt to our eyebrows when my husband was stationed on a ship in the SD bay. So I only got to go inside Hotel del Coronado only once.

Donna said...

Hi Cindy,What a wonderful commemorative piece of art! I can hardly believe it's been 5 years. And now with the oil spill, well, the people in your area have been thru so much, so they obviously are very strong! Love ll of the detail you added. Now I want to go out & buy some burlap!

Raspberries and Rose Petals said...

Found your post through the Paperie Party at The French Cupboard...and so glad I did! What an awesome memorial, Cindy! Very well and thoughtfully made...a treasure!

Have a great weekend!
Lori

Victorian1885 said...

What a lovely piece of art Cindy! I really commend you both for taking this house on as I saw the devastation this year as you know and there are still areas that are still devasted! Great job..bless you both!
Wanda

agypsyangel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lovey said...

This memorial is truly beautiful. I can only imagine what you went through and saw. It must have been the hardest thing ever. You and your husband are an awesome duo....I'm so glad that you have each other and your FAITH! Love you and Big Hugs...Lovey

More Entertaining Women said...

Cindy, thanks for the tips, I had been looking at the site you mentioned but hadn't quite figured it all out yet. I will revisit it and give it a go. Your tribute to NOLA is rustic and beautiful. And yes, dear heart; certainly tears. What an amazing thing you did to rebuild the house. Really and truly amazing. God bless you. You may have inspired me to make a piece from part of the big pine tree we just lost due to the horrible hailstorm we had and the pine beetle disease. They cut down the majestic Japanese pine yesterday. It looks so bare. What we've gone through here is not of the same magnitude, but our city has been through some very tough times of it's own. It's good to make something beautiful and meaningful from the ashes. To remind us that He works all things for the good of
those who love Him. Thank you Abba. W ww. We. E w wqw ewe w ee wwq

More Entertaining Women said...

Haaaa. I picked up my iPad to do something and typed a few random letters. Sheesh! It's not a secret code. Grin. CH.

2amscrapper said...

amazing, wonderful, such a tribute to those who have lost and to those who are rebuilding.

Chris said...

Cindy I can't believe it's 5 years already. Your art tribute and story is fantastic. My heart goes out to everyone that survives such terrible adversity with such grace.

Hugs,Chris
As the saying goes. Bloom where you are planted.

Anna @ Frosted Petunias said...

Cindy everything about this piece is beautiful. The art itself and the meaning behind it. When I look at it I think of images from Spike Lee's 'When the Levees Broke' and I think of the courage it took for the people of New orleans to get back up and build again. What you and your husband are doing there is truly special.

Anitra Cameron said...

Soon as you said, "Trailer hitch" I thought Heavy!, lol.

But what a lovely piece you made from such an unlikely base. I love that you made something that commemorated the strength, hope, and faith of our Gulf Coast regions.

stampdiva said...

In the U.K. the 5 year anniversary was mentioned on the lunchtime news today. I vividly recall this event as it shocked me the devastation and what appeared to be, lack of help for people in distress. Your art is incredibly touching and although it reflects upon an awful time there is also so much hope in your piece of art and love. Thanks for sharing such a special piece of art. Lynne M x

The Answer Is Chocolate said...

Cindy ((((((hugs))))). That is SPECTACULAR and so special. A year or so after Katrina there was a traveling art exhibit that came to our local Arts museum using items that various artists salvaged after the hurricane. It was such an emotional display and this piece reminds me so much of it. You've captured what I can only imagine to be all of the emotions involved. Truly art in action.

Renee said...

Hi Cindy,

This is so beautiful!! The symbolism is amazing! I especially love how you took the first picture with the bright green grass, yellow flowers, and the brown background. You did a fantastic job with this! I love it! And thank you for linking up to Something Beautiful! This is really beautiful!

Renee
aglimpseofbeautiful.com

peggy aplSEEDS said...

and heavy in meaning too! wonderful!

Ginger AKA Carol said...

A lovely piece for our challenge, thank you for joining in with us this month. I love the symbolism and the memory behind this piece.
Ginger x

Zuzu's Blog said...

I have to echo what most others have said about the thought and symbolism in your piece. Youve clearly thought a lot about this one and all the elements.
Peoples resilience is remarkable. I am sure there were many things that helped people through depending on their beliefs and cultures. Family, faith, independence, resilience, survival instincts, but each person that found strength to make it through is a remarkable person.Thank you for joining Alter it monthly and thank you for bringing us something so thought provoking.

Gaby Bee said...

One of my favorite themes. This piece is really great! Like all the details you have added!
Enjoy your day!

craftytrog said...

This is an awesome piece of rusty art Cindy! x

Cathy said...

Cindy,
You did us proud! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are a true friend. This piece you made from hitch of our new home is truely remarkable. You captured the essence of the people of St. Bernard. Keep up the good work.
Hugs to you Ralph and Jamie

Rein said...

Fabulous piece!