These “vials of sadness” as one viewer aptly named them were installed in a vending machine during an art crawl.
April 20th marks the anniversary of the Deep Water Horizon oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Heidi Haire and I fabricated “souvenirs” to be purchased from a vending machine by the gallery goers for April’s well attended First Friday event. Glass vials were filled approximately one third each with sand and salt water from the Gulf, used motor oil and permanently corked. A scientific looking sticker displayed the title and contents, and date. They are charming items and were a joy to play with as the oil moved tornado style around if shaken and bared a resemblance to lava lamps. Interaction with the viewer included personal testimonials of how the oil spill affected their lives, their friends, their income and many conversations ended in expressed anger toward BP. One viewer coined them “vials of sadness” as they lamented the state of the Gulf and the suffering of the wildlife that inhabit it.