Once Upon a Body
Once Upon a Body is a project in collaboration with Art Produce, July-Nov 2017. Using ideas, images and stories gathered from community participants during workshops and open studio sessions, I created paper sculptures and wearables shown in a community celebratory event on November 18, 2017. Thanks to Lynn Susholtz and her incredible team at Art Produce for supporting me.
This activity is supported in part by the Artists Activating Communities program of the California Arts Council, a state agency.
Video of final performance at Art Produce by Evan Apodaca.
Alanna Airitam photographed each of the participants with their piece as a way to tell each story in a new way.
Each photo is accompanied by a story that the person helped to write.
Nikki Dunnan - I hide my face so you can see me. As a dancer/performer, my favorite images of myself are ones that don't show my face. It is hard to see my face manifest emotion and vulnerability. It's like when we hear a recording of our own voice - it sounds so different from what we hear in our heads.
Marion Black - From so far away, the stars’ aging light comes toward us. From my quiet rooms, confined by illness, I cannot see them, but I know they swing in their majestic arcs above our heads. Witnesses, calendars, symbols, guideposts, their presence lasts for eons. My presence lasts for decades. But I am made of their substance.
Marilyn McPhie - In mythology and in art, often a pomegranate is an object of magic, something that solves a problem, cures the princess, saves the condemned person's life. Opening the tough skin to pry out the seeds, my hands are stained with red, and my thoughts are far away with those of ancient times who broke open the beautiful pomegranates with the small crown on top to savor this sweet and sharp fruit.
Laurie Bane - For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a water person, especially an ocean person. The beach, the waves, the sand and the floating life are part of an existence that I deeply understand. To come out of a shell, to build a home, and to return to it is a pattern we can all connect with.
Lanita Parnell - There is an old photograph of my grandmother Emma Chambers - she is wearing a hat with roses on top. My grandparents were remarkable people – they raised me and my sisters in San Francisco after our parents broke up. For many years, I went to the rose garden in Balboa Park to make pictures of the beautiful blooms. I've always felt like an artist and I’ve always liked roses.
Kim Niehans - I’ve left a part of me in many cities of the world and in turn they’ve become part of me. We all wear our life stories, real or fabricated, like old coats or pieces of jewelry. Our stories hold our most fundamental ideas about ourselves. And, like clothing, they are never fixed, but continually changing in form and meaning as we journey through our lives.
Amanda Andreen - My late grandmother Donna had drawers full of jewelry – stone cocktail rings, bangle bracelets, heaps of pearls, shell necklaces, fanciful clip-on earrings, and an array of colorful scarves, pins and purses. My elaborate and wild headpiece is a great homage to her as it's fancy, ornate, over the top, delicate, fabulous, crazy and feminine all at the same time, just like Donna. She'd probably wear it out to brunch if she were still here.
Once Upon a Body Performance at Art Produce Nov 18, 2017. 5-7pm