The Kenora Project Is a dedication to my mother Kenora who passed away from cancer. I did a free art dropped 62 pieces of artwork in both NY and LA. I picked that number for the age that my mother passed, she was 62 years old. When my mother passed I was at a lost as she was also my best friend. I had confided in her so much that I hadn't realized how much until she was gone. She was actually the one who consoled me before her passing. I went to here side after crying profusely and telling the Lord that I was about to join my mother. At that moment I truly understood how much I was going to miss her. I truly empathized with after the lost of his mother. I was devastated. I went to my mother's side in the hospice and told her how I felt. She calmed me down and assured me that everything was going to be alright and that it was her time. It was a cliché conversation that the movies have recycled with the light undertones of dramatic effect. This time the old adage was real and it reinforced itself in my thoughts. The next day my mother was gone at 9:00pm. As I drove home I thought to myself that I am truly a man now as I can no longer call for my mother's advice.
After the funeral I finally broke down. I searched and searched for photos but my mother wasn't the picture taking type. I had a few that I had found that were recent (the way that I wanted to remember her). In my search I realized that my phone barely had any memory left (always go for the larger storage 8 gigs just doesn't cut it). In clearing out my phones memory I went to clear a bunch of old phone messages. In doing so I came across phone messages from my mother going back to 2013. The messages ranged from her yelling at me about errands I still had to run all the way to her singing me happy birthday. This was the closest I would be able to talking to my mother. I thought of how blessed I was to have these recordings. I was happy for what the 8 gigs allowed me to store, also the fact that I don't really check voice mail (and delete it). In figuring out how to pull the voicemail messages off my phone and store them on my computer I thought about how great our smart phones are for recording our lives. I then immediately called one of my friends that runs a show room and wanted to share my epiphany. I told him that with all of his ripping and running that it is important to take time and record the moments with our loved ones. It is important to document the good and the bad moments, and not just try to capture the "firsts" or events. Capture the day to day. Just point and shoot, point and record. He and I talked for well over an hour. That conversation then turned into my mother's eulogy. I told the congregation that they should make sure that they cherish the moments with their loved ones. Don't wait to give them flowers when they are gone. Give them the flowers now. I ended it by telling them that some of them knew me as Pel but the world will now know me as Kenora's son.
I thought about using a rose in the artwork because it resonated with the idea of giving someone flowers while they are alive. I wanted to reference old sailor tattoo styles. In sketching it and trying to come up with my own style I added the hearts to the center buds. This to me made it really signature and also symbolized the love that two people have. Especially that of a mother and a child being that one rose is inside the other. I chose to do the halo as it was an element that I was using in other works and it felt like a natural extension to show one that has passed on. The core message of this art is not only to share with those that are here but also to remember those that are not. They are still with use one way ore another even if it is just in the living genetic material that sustains us. I mainly used black canvases as that was my mother's favorite color.
I chose to continue th narrative of the idea of giving those that you love flowers while they are still with you. The Rose Pin became a natural extension of that narrative. I liked the idea of being able to give someone that I cared about a flower that didn't die. The pin is to be worn in memory to one who is lost or the love one that is still amongst us. The pin is also to be given as a token that symbolizes the love that you have for them.
Pin The Love
The art work that I created to make the pin is also something that I urge people to share with one another. This idea came about as I looked back in retrospective of how this conversation of sharing the love came about. It was the conversation with my friend about using his smartphone to document the moment.