Series: Send Me Your Last Cigarette
This is a body of work that utilizes art as a tool for personal and social transformation. In 2007 Hoysted created this project in an effort to break her 20+ year addiction to cigarette smoking. It is a multi-media project that comprises a blog; a public component where members of the public intending on breaking the same cycle are invited to send her their last cigarette and, the creation of artwork that symbolizes the damage potentially self-inflicted through smoking.
The artwork revolves around the opposing notions of destruction & healing and death & resurrection. To deal with withdrawal artwork that was a metaphor for her body was created. Pristine watercolor paper was burnt and sprayed with nicotine dye made from her collected old cigarette butts. The paper was then fused to panels with encaustic medium. The act of destroying fine paper and encasing it with wax was ritualistic and hence cathartic. Eleven, 11’ panels were burnt with holes, each representing the 7 life minutes lost per cigarette, a pack, a day, for a year. In the artwork created for public participants, temples to commemorate their life altering decision to quit smoking were created – funerary temples for their last cigarettes but also temples of renewal to celebrate their path to freedom from nicotine addiction.
The project seeks to affect social transformation by increasing general awareness of the growing problem of tobacco addiction in the world. According to the World Health Organization, 100 million died from tobacco related diseases in the 20th century, and predicts that in this century it will reach pandemic proportions with a staggering number of 1 billion people dying prematurely from smoking.