The “Rising from the Ashes” fashion show last Saturday night at the Museum of Ventura County was awesome! Thirty-one artists created wearable art outfits and accesories depicting their feelings about the Thomas Fire here in Ventura last December, and modeled them for a sold-out crowd.
Here’s a picture of all of the models in front of the two huge paintings that artist John Robertson created for the event.
And here are the pictures of the outfit I created for the show. It depicts the confusion and terror I felt during the fire, and the strangely beautiful aftermath. Fire takes life, but it generates life as well.
The dress started out solid black, and I painted it with fiery oranges and reds, smokey grays and browns.
The garland on my head is wrapped in yellow caution tape and adorned with burned twigs, pine cones and other blackened seed pods from the fire.
I fashioned the necklace from a stone that burned in the fire and was turned jet black by the flames.
And I created a wrap using strips of torn cotton fabrics that I painted and wove together into a shawl because I knew it would be chilly on the courtyard for the reception at the end of the event.
This shawl has a little weight to it, and feels comforting when I wear it, like a cozy security blanket.
Coincidentally, the Thomas Fire was declared officially out earlier that same day, nearly six months after it started. More than 440 square miles were burned and over 1,000 homes and other structures were lost.
What a difference six months makes! Here are a couple of pictures I took of the burned hills this week. Many of the plants and trees did not survive, and the wildflowers are taking advantage of the newly opened space and putting on a magnificent display.
How has art helped you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share them with us in the comments section below.
With love and appreciation,