Catkins From Oak Tree

6" x 22"

During this pandemic, my family and I moved back into our childhood home my parents bought in Blythewood, South Carolina. I’ve lived in this home from the 5th grade to the 10th grade and now I am 21. With all the time that has passed, I am surrounded by the same neighbors who were here years ago with some new neighbors, the same stores with some closed down, the same roads with the construction of new roads being added, and the same houses with new ones being built. Being here has made me happy and nostalgic but has also given me a sense of sadness, guilt, resentment, and shame of what happened to me and who I was in the past. Many people do not get the opportunity to physically revisit their past. However, I did. I realized how much of a trigger it can be to someone to remember things they don’t want to and fall into a constant cycle of suppression. Simultaneously due to the COVID-19 crisis, death has been another constant thought in my mind. A virus going around that not only kills but also moves undetected by the human eye. Mass paranoia to this disease has scared me of possibly dying alone. The physical past has scared me into seeing my flaws and the people who have hurt me. 

I chose the word Surrender. In the dictionary, surrender means to give oneself up into the power of another. To me I believe surrender means letting go of the expectations of the past, present, and future. I am surrendering to the sadness, guilt, resentment, shame, and fears of death. I am accepting what has happened to me, what is happening to me, and what will happen to me. I placed this word in my backyard because I wanted to work with natural materials and work in the area that affected me the most which was my childhood home. I used catkins as my material which are slim, cylindrical flower clusters that fall from oak trees located in my backyard. Due to the wind constantly blowing, and the material being light and delicate, I knew this process would be challenging resulting in the project blowing away.