Ancestors’ Worship, 2007

Gallery RFD, Swainsboro GA

This work firstly stems from my interest in studying my own personal rituals to combat the loss of story and tradition handed down in my own family. Tea-drinking is the first and most potent of these that I discovered. In addition to tea having spiritual and supernatural ties in many cultures, the morning cup of tea is one of the more prevalent hand-me-downs in my family.

I envision the piece as something of a genealogy chart, focusing on spiritual heritages. Tea bag paper, 3 by 4.5 inches in size, will hold photographs of fictional ancestors, along with a tree to trace back the origins of their spirituality, and be placed on the wall over each cup. Many of these images will trace back through to saints, but also to older more universal manifestations of the divine as time passes through the trees. Small objects will be placed in each cup to cite the personality of these ancestors, and give some clues to the fictional relationship between them and me.

In studying various gods, goddesses, saints and other deities, I learned a sample of how many names are lost or written over by politicians and religious leaders. Religions written off as merely “pagan” in the Bible were rich and complex, and hold many lessons for those who study them. In studying religions of the world, I find more that unites humanity than divides it.