If I Had a Flower for Every Time I Thought of You...I Could Walk Through My Garden Forever.
This sculpture is made primarily of disassembled artificial flowers that I have collected from refuse and leaf piles that accrue in the Oakland Cemetery on the Cranston/ Providence line in Rhode Island. In this cemetery, grass grows tall, headstones are pushed over, trenches are covered with rotting plywood, litter collects. Privately owned, the only discernible maintenance that is done is performed by volunteering relatives of the deceased or by individuals assigned community service. Despite the overall neglect to the grounds, gravesites are frequently visited as evidenced by overflowing shrines adorned by tall glass candles, heart-shaped wreathes, flower arrangements, stuffed animals, and family photographs. A staggering number of these graves belong to young men of color under the age of 25 years old. To me, the state of disrepair of this graveyard is symbolic of the many ways in which our society demonstrates that some lives may be more highly valued than others.