I realized that my Daffodil Ashes should be shared as a social sculpture/community art project. Grief is universal and the power of a community of strangers joined by their individual sadness and intent on the making of objects for those they have lost would be very powerful. To ponder and create your own gifts objects for someone you have lost; put these creations in the fire; and observe their transformation, is an intense cathartic process. Participants also talked about their creations, shared stories, wrote text, attended the burning and the sharing of food at a community garden.
I photographed the objects and each participant was given a printout of the object and text. Some choose not to burn their objects and instead to cherish them at their home altar, for others the act of burning seemed inappropriate and opted to bury it, in every case the process was carefully considered by the individual, respected by all. Daffodil Ashes 2012 workshops and exhibition were held at the Rubin Museum of Art with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Daffodil Ashes 2013 participants were students from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Daffodil Ashes is ongoing. Given funding and space, workshops will be geared for immigrant communities, trauma families, and grief support groups. I The work of all participants is documented and compiled with the intent of producing a book, showing the intimacy, the immensity and the universality of loss and life. A sampling of the work of Daffodil Ashes workshop participants shown below. See Daffodil Ashes in the header for introductory info.