Sackcloth and Ashes
Burlap, charcoal, found objects, wood, 27 pennies, 2004

In the Statement for this piece, which was exhibited at Studio Place Arts in an exhibit called a " Wearable Art Show," I said:

As far as we know, humans have always worn clothing. And the kind of clothing people wear has been an indicator of social status, occupation, gender, and even political affiliation.

Sackcloth and ashes was worn in the ancient world as a sign of remorse, repentance, and grief. This sculpture represents us – the Wealthy Western World – doing penance for our consumption of more than our reasonable share of the world’s resources. We are offering the poor 27 cents, the average daily income of a person in the Congo, Ethiopia, and Myanmar in 2004.

But since we are all really one, and there is really no essential difference between an American and an Ethiopian, it also represents the person about whose plight we grieve. That person has only 27 cents in his or her bowl at the end of the day.

I often think about money, the state of the world, and our hoarding of material goods. As an artist, I wonder about the consumption of art works -- which are, after all, goods that are bought and sold. I wonder about the value of trading in art. I wonder what art is for. I wonder what will speak to our spirit and bring us to do what is necessary to heal our planet.

The cost of this sculpture, should anyone desire to own it, is $199.57, the average yearly income of a person in Burkina Faso or Rawanda.