"My Coal Curtain" is an installation that I created in 2007 for the Art on Armitage gallery in Chicago. Artist and gallery owner Mary-Ellen Croteau invites artists to hang work, and create installations, even performances, in this shop-window-style space. This piece came from several childhood memories: my grandfather, who was a working miner; the vinyl strips that hung down over one doorway instead of a door. I drilled holes in dozens of pieces of coal and strung them together using monofilament. I suspended them a foot apart from the ceiling, then positioned the lights to create dramatic shadows, which become part of the piece.
This came back to me as I start to think back over the work I've done since then, particularly my attempts to get back into painting. I keep returning to this pattern of coal, which sometimes is abstract circles, but always has this memory of coal in it somewhere.
Sometimes the answer to what to do next is staring you in the face.
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