I first visualized this piece in my apartment in Pilsen back in 2012. While it's original narrative wasn't quite as optimistic, I'm grateful that the dots connected and I had the opportunity, living inside this building, to bring the idea to life in a bigger and better way.
The Story Behind 'A Long Weekend'
I remember fondly requesting off a five day stretch from work. I ACTUALLY thought that I could knock it out in a weekend. I saw the guys who did the previous one finish in a day, somehow that gave me a very misplaced sense of confidence?
Anyhow, we all have a story, some more tragic or challenging than others, some successful or overall happy ones. Regardless of our story, we can all relate in that the past, present and future all affects us in some way, shape or form. The elephant originates from being my spirit animal growing up(a bad joke from my sisters but now I love it!). I happened to stumble upon this stuffed animal antiquing one day and it just stood out. It didn't have any eyes, there was almost this sense of sadness about the poor guy. Myself feeling pretty lost at the time, felt an instant connection to this blind, inanimate children's toy and now here we are.
The pocket watch representing the past(note the chain is not connected to elephant) holding onto the past too tight, sometimes even the good parts, doesn't leave enough room for all that's in front of us and what's ahead. Instead, finding a way to have a healthy disconnect to it, still there to look back to but not tied to it. The lantern represents clarity in the present. Overwhelmed with clouded thoughts from the past, uncertainty of the future, but all anyone really has is this moment right now. So see it, feel it, experience it! The binoculars are for guidance towards the future-they don't help see the in between, but why would you want to? The suitcase is holding life's lessons, experiences and wisdom to take with along the way. The flowers very specifically chosen(sunflowers, thistle, roses, chrysanthemums and cyclamen) were not just for aesthetic reasons but while some are feminine and delicate on the outside, they are all flowers that hold strong traits, whether in fragrance, the stem, the ability to withstand cold and longevity symbolizing perseverance and strength.
Bucktown Arts Fest was my first art show. I was over the moon at the opportunity to showcase my work and bring the 'medley of mediums' if you will all together. One of the first things I did was sit down and visualize/sketch out what I wanted the booth as a whole to look like. I knew I really wanted to create and experience when someone stepped into my booth, for it to feel comfortable like you were stepping into someone's living room. With a minimal budget and a little elbow grease, the making of this booth has been hands down one of my most personally and professionally rewarding experiences to date!