Poppy Show

POPPY SHOW from Q Hart on Vimeo.

Poppy Show, once upon a time little girls would pick flowers, pressing the petals between pieces of glass in kaleidoscopic patterns, they'd get together to display them to each other, charging a penny entry fee; later the Poppy Show morphed to refer to a diorama that little dudes would carry around the neighborhood, still charging a penny for a look inside.

Today we recognize the poppy as a symbol of remembrance; in many communities around the world, school children make paper or felt poppy boutonnieres to give to their communities as an act of mnemonic labor (doing the work to preserve collective memory), remembering our veterans.

This Poppy Show was displayed on a electronic tablet set inside a diorama.

Made for Boundary Crossings 2013, a two week summer intensive animated arts institute, at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland OR.

The poppy carries deep metaphor from ancient times to the present, the poppy and opium have been linked to earliest known humanoids for a number of reasons, pain management being the first, then sleep, resurrection and remembrance of fallen warriors. Opium trade has fueled colonialism, imperialism and war. While colonialism and imperialism are diligently being eradicated, wars are still funded by opium trade; wars are still fought over opium control in ways that look a lot like colonialism. People still medicate with opium derivatives, either by prescription or self-medicating.

The bed is related in that it's where we are born, spend a goodly portion of our lives and we well may die in our beds. We may spend a bit of our youth and well into our adulthood hanging on to the rails of a spinning bed wishing for sleep to take over. I've read, and really, I mean that I've read (trip reports) that opium usage is blissful and floaty, personally I associate that feeling with beds as well. In this context, this bed is where one might be spending a lot of time spinning.

This work is a derivative of my proposed thesis work which addresses the internal wars fought by women serving in armed forces protecting or destroying poppies.

Too much? Maybe, but it's what I was thinking when I made this, I don't expect all y'all to take all of that way =) It's more than pretty, it's deeply conceptually theoretical and politically motivated. I'll unpack where I'm coming from with my next work in the series.


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