|The Mystery of Violet Oakley|
We are lucky to be able to see her work at the Pennsylvania State Capitol building in Harrisburg. The forty-three murals are majestic.
Violet had an extraordinary life. A book by Alice A. Carter, The Red Rose Girls: An Uncommon Story of Art and Love, explores the shared lives of Jessie Willcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green, and Violet first at the Red Rose Inn and later with Henrietta Cozens at Cogslea near Philadelphia. It is an excellent read.
Playwright Cindy Dlugolecki's sensitive portrayal of Violet's life is explored through her work Violet Oakley Unveiled which I had the pleasure of seeing several times.
Did the Red Rose Girls, as they were known, have a Boston Marriage? No one will ever know for sure. But their living arrangement did foster a climate of extreme creativity...each woman following the call of her Muse.
The concept for the collage was to find paper and objects and weave them together as you would a carpet.
It is a conventional piece. The substrate is canvas. In addition to the photo of Violet, I used handmade paper, art paper, ribbon, joss paper, a letter written by Violet, and pressed rose petals.
The lives of the Red Rose Girls were woven together through the love of art and each other. Violet's life and work inspired me to create my own tapestry.