At seventeen years old I moved away to school, and was attempting to find myself through my first real heartbreak. It took a dining hall job, long walks, new friends, drinks in hand, and many tears. It was my most challenging and rewarding year. After a long night in the studio that late spring, I sat and looked out over the Appalachian hills and lights in the distance. It was my final night in Athens, and I could feel how much I had grown. I went home to my dorm, a place I now felt safe and warm.That semester I had a weekly ritual of going to the open mic night uptown, alone. Over the years I grew a connection with local musician Bruce Dalzell. The song in this installation, I Will Wait For You, was written by Bruce and I. Immortalizing that memory, wanting to share this story. Some places you pass change you forever. My first dorm, unbelievable friends, studio nights, magic drinks from coffee shops, and open mic music that can heal a heart. I will carry this with me, remembering each new place I go will change me in ways I do not yet know.
The exterior of the installation is formed by hand drawn imagery that has been screen printed (double sides) on Tyvek, and hung with fishing line. The two corner wallpaper rolls are pulled up by the outer corner, like a curtain, to add a welcoming entrance to viewers. Inside are both collected and made objects. The string lights inside act as an extension of the fireflies pictures on the exterior. The room is comprised of a rug, blankets, pillow, desk, chair, and wall paint. On the desk is a journal (hand bound, handmade cotton rag and abaca paper, mixed media) filled with illustrations, writing, and saved memorabilia from my time in Athens. A radio contains a physical CD with Bruce and I's song "I Will Wait For You", with headphones allowing the viewer to have a personal experience while they listen at their own leisure. Sprawled throughout the space are sheets of handmade abaca paper, with screen printed lyrics to the song. On one side are the final lyrics (handwritten and then screen printed), with original notes and the songwriting process printed on the other side. Some of these sheets are suspended in the air, representing a moment in time. A memory being experienced, and then revisited. Viewers are encouraged to listen for as long as they'd like, flip through the journal, pick up anything they wish, go through drawers, and make themselves at home.