Many years ago, in a college art class, I made a charcoal drawing of a form with a black hooded cape looking into a mirror. Where the face would be, it’s solid black. Within a few years, that drawing was forgotten.
My mom died of metastasized breast cancer in 1992. A year or two later, I found myself using a black-hooded, caped figure in an art photograph. The series of images of the hooded figure is called Traveler’s Embrace , which looks similar to the drawing I had made many years before. Traveler’s Embrace is part of a larger body of work Inside the Belly of the Whale. 2
I still have the black hooded cape that I used in that photograph. I recently brought it out again. I had one last photo I wanted to make; one last image I needed to express. I laid the cape down among some fallen trees, so that it almost looked like a casket. And then, coincidentally, I found the old charcoal drawing I’d done in college.
The caped figure has always been with me, making its presence known in my art from time to time.
To me, the cape always seemed like a piece of clothing that a traveler would need. Using this cape had a way of making me feel prepared or maybe it was a bit of protection.
Now, I believe is the time to lay it down; It feels like laying down a burden.
I do so, in the hope that someone else will use it. I’m at a fork in the road on my journey, and where I’m going, I won’t need it.
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