23 Mar


In keeping with my “Unravelling” apron, I follow with another piece that could easily belong to the series.

Absence” by Kristin La Flamme, 2012

I created this piece for possible inclusion in the invitational show curated by Dinner@Eight artists Jamie Fingal and Leslie Jameson. 2012 is the fourth year of the show and the first year I’ve been invited to submit a piece. There is always a theme and size limitation, and this year’s theme is Rituals.

Ah, the military life is filled with rituals. Interestingly, while I was working on this piece, I was also working on my Metamorphosis piece for Twelve by Twelve and they sort of dovetailed. Certainly the process a soldier goes through in Basic Training is a ritual made to initiate him or her into the Army society.

(click to enlarge)

For “Absence,” I decided to focus on the rituals missed while a soldier is deployed. So many center around the dining room tabel. Meals together, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Our family has certainly had it’s share of important moments without daddy present.

I’ve tried to convey a table with wood grain fabrics and vintage table linens. In addition, the traditional Dresden Plate quilt blocks represent the place settings, with stitched silhouettes of hands for each family member present. There’s a yellow ribbon for remembrance and stars and stripes for patriotism. Most obvious though is the hole showing the soldier’s absence. This is in honor of all the family rituals every soldier, sailor, airman and marine miss while they serve our country.

4 thoughts on “Absence

  1. This brought tears to my eyes, Kristin. You visually made me realize something that you and your children have had to deal with that we all take for granted. You have incorporated so many elements to draw the viewer into your story. 3 plates and one missing, a birthday candle – I want to see what else you have hidden.

  2. This is a very powerful piece that reminds us of the sacrifices you and thousands of other families make everyday. Thankfully, your hole has been filled. I think of so many others where that place setting is gone forever. Like I said, a powerful and moving piece of art. Thank you and your family – especially Art.

  3. Wow – this is definitely one of your more moving pieces of art…..it is SO powerful by what is missing…..I continue to be in awe of your ability to translate life through your art…..

  4. I think you should document this creative process in a book. It could speak to both artists and the military community and I think it has the potential to inspire both while shedding a light on a side of conflict that hardly ever gets any headlines …

    I would definitely buy it!

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