28½” High – Base Pedestal 5¼” square

Ohhhh—there is so much emotion tied up in Katrina. Bear with me while I explain. I was deployed to Mississippi in 2007 to help work on a project assisting residents with housing (I was there almost three years). It was over two years after Katrina and folks were starting to heal and deal with their belongings that had been damaged during the storm. I went to yard sales, estate sales and the Menge flea market. I heard some heart-felt stories and met some fabulous, resilient, people.

The Muse: A piece of driftwood I bought at a yard sale for a $1.00. It immediately looked like angel wings to me (I usually see things others don’t). It took me over a year to pull the pieces together.

Head: Broken Christmas tree angel (free at yard sale—took head off of broken body)—lightly touched up the face with Acrylic paint.
Body: Unaltered drift wood (see above)
Collar: Formed a collar with paper mache-covered with crushed oyster shell (oysters from Gulfport beach)
Halo: Watch parts (watch bought at yard sale)
Bodice center piece: The bone of a catfish known as the “crucifix”. Pearl glued to center.
Base: Post (salvage) A wood finial was put in the opening at the top of the base, collaged with a 1976 fishing newspaper (bought at the same time I bought the driftwood) and white washed with acrylic paint.
Oysters and other bits and pieces of the Gulf: The Grand Casino was on a floating barge when Katrina hit. It came across four lanes of highway and smashed into the Ohr Museum building that was under construction. These enormous oyster shells were scraped off the barge on impact.
“EMERGENCY STOP Lift Cover Push Button”: This too was found in the rubble of the Grand Casino and seemed fitting for the piece.
Faith button: This is an antique ivory Majong tile found at the flea market ? painted with the word “faith”.