The Spice of Life is the Knowledge of Death

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mixed media assemblage
430 X 325 X 75 mm
by Dale Copeland, 1994
Collection of Jerome Leyendecker, USA


Click to see detail.


You can't let it be bland when you know it's brief.

It really was a spice rack of course. I forget which of the many white elephant stalls it came from, but it's a beauty. It had no back to it - the bottles hung bare against the wall. I made a many-layered back with blackboard, gold metal foil and scratching, all behind a heavy old mirror with a lot of the mirror paint scratched off. A fine dappling of paint spray on top to get just the colour I wanted. And in each of the bottles something which to me carries the feeling of the whole piece. A totally personal way to work, and arguably self-indulgent, but it seems that feeling right goes with looking right.

There's my detested IUD, my stepfather's unlucky rabbit foot, bits which hold my mother, and pieces which carry the pain and ill health of the whole world. Well, to me anyway. Feel free to see just dried fish and hypodermics and bullets. That's perhaps why I feel the loss when I part with my works - I make them for me.


Dale's studio can be found on Surf Highway, Taranaki, New Zealand

More of her work can be seen on the Virtual TART site at http://virtual.tart.co.nz/Dale

email Dale
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Image © Dale Copeland