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This auction starts July 28th at 10am PST and ends August 2nd at 10am PST.
This piece is a solid copper oil lamp and comes with 20 cotton wicks, it can run on common oils like Olive oil and burn time is around 30 minutes (however, it can be refilled through the fill hole in order to keep the flame burning). I recommend burning on a clay plate for safety.
I have never met the Revered DePayne Middleton-Doctor, but as I worked on this piece I felt a certain connection to her as I thought about my own mother and how I would grapple with the grief that her passing would engender. Revered DePayne was a mother of 4 and I wanted to honor her life with something that would hold meaning to her family members. Something that at the same time would tell about her life and her story. I was able to find a transcript of her eulogy where her family member described her as “my little songbird” and decided to make that a central motif of the piece. Her family said that her voice was angelic, and she sang with the choir at Mother Emanuel AME Church. I also knew from the beginning that I would want to make an oil lamp not only for its religious significance in the Bible, but also because the offering of light to the deceased's memory is something that I hold special in my own religious practice. What makes her death even more unjust is that she was murdered doing what she loved, as she was preparing (for the second time) to become a Reverend through her new church. Her family described her as filled with a “heartwarming” soul and that’s why I felt the oil lamp and it’s fire like backplate would honor that aspect of her personality. I hope that this piece will speak to someone in the way that her story spoke to me. Requiescat in pace Reverend DePayne Middleton-Doctor.