Pilgrimage commemorates the Women’s March.
I wanted to simplify this great event,
both protest and celebration,
and distill the experience to its soul.
On eBay I found doll shoes
with personalities of imagined marchers.
What surface would I make for them?
We marched on city streets
so I thought of constructing towering walls.
But no, that’s not the point.
It needed something universal,
a texture that would be rough, no easy walk,
and unpredictable, more like life.
A tree contributed a chunk of heavy bark.
So I set the shoes on their journey…
…and discovered it was funny.
Ugh, this wasn’t supposed to be a joke.
Not that I’m against humor in art.
While I built this piece,
a painting of mine, “I am not a Girl!”
was in the “Bunk” show at Gallery 825.
But Pilgrimage is meant to be serious.
So I painted the shoes a rich brown
that matched the bark.
The darkness had a strong impact
as if they battled through mud.
But that’s not the truth.
Mixed with determination was joy.
The shoes needed the glow of bronze,
like statues that hail victories.
Finally, where are they going?
This trail doesn’t end
in a voting booth, raised fist, or headlines.
What is the true epiphany?
At the culmination of the journey
we are each naked.
Though we marched together,
we stand alone
at the precipice of the future
and the next step into the unknown
is up to each of us.