I’ve been working simultaneously on the artworks and have finished Madison’s too. I’ve printed out Madison’s goodbye letter shown on either side of her cigarette. I wanted to create a feeling of a declaration being made where Madison renounces cigarettes for good. I feel there is a firmness and rigidity in the design that reflects how she feels about quitting and moving forward. Apologies for the shadows – one of the photo bulbs blew just as I was about to take it. I hope you like it Madison!
Finally I created an artwork for Shirley. If you look back at the package that she sent to me some time back she sent me a lot of self motivational messages and I included one of those on the main focus of the artwork. You Can Because You Can Believe You Can. What a powerful message. Shirley’s last cigarette is also included underneath the gauze as is her goodbye letter. I kept the artwork very simple so as not to detract from the great message.
Polly quit on April 1st and sent me a great package via Fedex with her last cigarette and extra “materials”. Take a look – it was great and now I’m under serious pressure to prepare a Temple of Honor that matches these awesome packages I’m receiving from such wonderful people. Here are some (bad) photos of Polly’s hard work.
I had yet another new package in the mail on Saturday – this time from Madison. Her quit day was Feb. 24th and she is working hard on keeping that quit. Good for her.
This is her goodbye letter and a picture of the package she sent me.
He will be remembered for his chemical dependancy by his special partners Bic and Cricket Lighters.
He is survived by his non-smoking wife, Madison, his sons Kool and Camel, his daughters Virginia Slim and Misty Menthol.
He is proceeded in death by his cousins Terreyton, and Viceroy, and an Uncle GPC & mother-in law, Doral.
I got a new package in the mail yesterday from Shirley. What a surprise – not the fact that she sent me her last cigarette (she had promised that to me a long time ago) but the entire contents – her last half smoked cigarette, a beautiful letter to me, printouts from modules from the AMerican Lung Association quit smoking modules, her reasons for stopping stopping, her goodbye letter to cigarettes, words from her daughter that she has posted on her fridge, her track pack exercises from the ALA too and some post it notes that she pasted everywhere.
Shirley quit on 1.27.09 and is a fantastic quitter.
Here is a few snapsshots of what she sent me. I felt kind of bad having Shirley’s “post it” notes so I thought it would be nice to post to them here for her to see.
Thanks Shirley! DDA – Desire Determination Action
Betty sent me her Goodbye Letter a few weeks ago and I’ve made the artwork below for her. I didn’t have her last cigarette so I included some packaging for Marlboro Ultra Lights – the brand that Betty smoked. The artwork is not as “clean cut” as the earlier ones but I think it works well and it is heavily influenced by the words in Betty’s goodbye letter – the words “I thought you were my friend, But were my enemy” are haunting and prompted a more forceful response in the imagery in the artwork. I think it is more reminiscent of a mausoleum than a temple and I think subconsciously I wanted to emphasize that there is no going back – no more smoking – and that is why I tied the poles and barred up the symbolic doorway.
Betty has a wonderful quit going and she has sent her goodbye letter to me to create an artwork to add to my wall of honor. She quit on October 20th, 2008 – good for her. Her 3 month quit date is tomorrow – Congratulations Betty!
Betty’s Goodbye Letter:
I will miss my early morning coffee with you.
I will miss leaning on you when I have a problem.
I won’t miss the way you make me feel.
I won’t miss coughing, being out of breath, wheezing, the lung infections.
I thought you were my friend, but you were the enemy.
I won’t miss the mess you leave behind (dirty house & car).
I won’t miss all the trips to the store just to buy you.
I will be glad to have the money I will save by not buying you.
You Really do stink!
I have been awarded a solo exhibition at the Erik Lauritzen Gallery, at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada during February/March 2011. That is truly wonderful news! My goal is to collect 100 last cigarettes and GROW my Wall of Honor – it will be so beautiful.
Also, I have been collecting materials for my next phase of this project – to create an installation. I just have to firm up my ideas before I start. Also because I have no idea where it might be exhibited, how I would store, move it, I am kind of in a quandary as to what materials I should use and how to keep the cost down. I’m excited though :-)
It has been 14 months now but I have no more cigarettes from donors to create new artwork! When I started this project I was sure I would receive many but it isn’t an easy thing to do. If anyone would like to send me a last cigarette send it to me I would love to continue to add to my wall of honor. Left to right on the photo – Vicky, Erica, Mary, Jackie (me), Linda & Binshenjit. Congratulations everyone!
Erica has 7 weeks today – I hope you like the artwork to celebrate that achievement. Once again I used the temple format, used the gauze, bells, nails etc as a visual language to describe the experience of quitting i.e. one of celebration , death (of old habits, dependancies, beliefs), healing and renewal, with temptation always lurking around.