Three Shovels to Bury You

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    Photo: John Bentham
Shovels, metal fence, found wood, and fabric
50 x 62 x 24 inches

I did this piece after returning home from El Paso, where I had experienced a Day of the Dead ceremony and the value they placed on human life. My grandmother used to dig graves. She dug the graves of the four little girls who were killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. I used to dig graves with her, when I was young. Life comes and life goes. I used an old rotting piece of wood to show that the wood casket would one day be absent. And a lot of the elder African American graves were marked with natural materials that would eventually disintegrate, and we’d lose track of who was buried there. I used the metal bedrail to show the adorning of the grave.