The Blog

Portraits and ponderings from the writing desk of Jill Foote-Hutton.

ROAD TRIP at Poplar Bluff

This post is late in making it to the blog. I should really blog at least once a week, if I'm going to take this seriously. So March was kind of crazy. There were three shows at various times, but it did make it the fastest March I've ever experienced. You can check out the whole story and concept behind Road Trip at www.jfhstudio.com, but essentially I made the "Fortune Dolls" you see below and took them with me on a road trip through MO, AR, MS, AL, TN, GA, NC, KY, IN, and IL. I indulged in Roadside America and immersed myself in kitsch and the ingenuity of humanity, all the while taking photos with the "Fortune Dolls". So named because within each doll is a reclaimed fortune. Whenever I met someone whose character or demeanor struck me as pure, humorous, unique, or I had a real moment with them, then I gave the doll away.
So once I had secured an exhibit, I made more dolls. After the captive audience sat through my purposefully long family vacation slide show. I invited them into my gift shop where I had items at various price points. Much like all of the attractions I attended on my road trip my lecture ended and my exhibit began with the requisite commercial exploit. There were postcards for $.75 and magnets for $1.00. T-shirts were $25 and necklaces were $10. However, if the attendees would write a postcard to me about their own journeys and leave it posted to the wall, they could have their own fortune doll with the suggestion they pass on the story and the sharing of a moment.

This was an interesting social experiment and it had much personal significance for me, but I think it was a little convoluted and I'm letting it cook for a while in my brain. The critique group I had the chance to show the work to gave me input about abstraction and I think being a bit more eloquent with the idea. I'm just trying to figure out how to physically realize this or to decide if I need to just let it go. What do you think?