Judy, remembering Garret

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Judy S: Artist Statement


This piece reflects my feeling of much of Garret's life, or his life from my experience, particularly after he started using heroin. Despite his struggles, he could be very open and caring and he had a great sense of humor. Garret always loved to cook and some of the spices he used are in my art in the shape of hearts and scattered around; he tattooed a heart on his back with the names of his niece and little brother on it and the shape of the tattoo is here made up of scraps of his clothes and bedding.


In looking at pictures and the clothes of his I have left, black, gray, red and tan predominate. The red paint came out scattered while the black forms solid hearts and heart outlines. I feel like this represents the love that was always there that he just could not completely connect to. When he was a child, we spent a lot of time together, fishing, taking walks, biking or roller-blading along the Cape Cod Canal or at Colt State Park, and visiting the beach at all times of the year, so sand is scattered around the canvas. A flower from his funeral is included and some of the petals are also scattered, as are scraps of material from his coat. There’s a small, nearly perfect shell representing the perfection I hope he now experiences, as his life here was so tortured.


I feel like he participated in the creation of this piece because from not knowing what to do with an array of materials, pictures and writings, the canvas suddenly seemed to create itself, so his name in his hand from the envelope of a card he mailed me is here next to my initials. Always, there was love.