This work, part painting, part performance, was created to honour and mourn those killed in the Orlando Pulse Nightclub Shooting of June 12, 2016.  It is a work that hopes to both condemn the hateful killer's easy access to semi-automatic weapons, as well as eulogize the young, brave victims.  
As an American, I am shamed by how guns and violence continue to be glorified in our culture, and irrational gun laws make it easy for rage and bigotry turn to mass murder.  
I started on this work as soon as I heard of the heartbreaking shooting, the morning after.  I first drew in image of the AR-15, a weapon similar to the one proven to be used in the massacre.  It took me 7 minutes to draw.  This is, incidentally, the same amount of time it took for a reporter to buy an AR-!5 semi-automatic in Philadelphia.  (see http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/helen_ubinas/20160614_Ubinas__I_bought_an_AR-15_semi-automatic_rifle_in_Philly_in_7_minutes.html) In what I hoped was almost an expulsion, a kind of visual exorcism, I obliterated the drawing with black spray paint, a medium typically used in protest art.  Upon this slick black surface,  I wrote each of the 49 victims names in gold.  On each name, I painted a  representative figure with clear adhesive media, in postures that were intentionally ambiguous:  some appear to be dancing or celebrating, some anguished or dying.   I covered each figure with a square of 24 kt gold leaf, saying each name with respect as I covered their bodies.  
This created a large, shimmering surface that danced and swayed, an homage to the moment before the shooting, when young people were celebrating their lives and their community. 
Then, like the sprayed bullets shattered the sanctity of this space, I used a brush to pull away the gold leaf to reveal the gold figures, forever frozen in time. 
(Music by Warpaint "Lay your Arms Down", available on itunes) 
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