Charles Wisseman, Mixed Media Artist



A late Thanksgiving "book" for the cubic foot of art project: "Lifeline" I was thinking of this year of funerals and weddings, disability and recovery, close calls and near-death experiences in the past-- grateful to be alive (just walking around breathing in and out is a seriously underrated pleasure). Grateful to have a houseful of friends and relations. For this book I drew an EKG cardiac tracing on strips of tyvek-- one yard per year of my life (prenatal heart beat starts in later first trimester). There are some varied rhythms and a few repaired breaks, as there is in real life. These were twisted into a cord using surgical forceps held in a drill press (never used this machine like this before), joined into a single long thread , and wrapped on a spool. The origin arises in a ceramic spiral-tile , and the leading end terminates in the lifeline of a hand image burned into wood at the other end of the spool. Beginning in the clay, and still reaching forward. I put a taxidermy wolf eye in the palm of the hand because I like the hand-eye symbolism( in the Near East this is protection against the evil eye, in some native American symbolism this refers to the portal for soul to jump to the sky. I like to make densely symbolic landscapes, but try not to overdo it.) Around the spool is a removable casing with images of the three fates of Greek mythology, and scissors that the oldest fate (Atropos) uses to cut the threads of life. Giving thanks for life and health, as long as it lasts. Don't be upset about growing older- not everyone gets the chance.
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