Salt Trail

2015 Brown University Student Exhibition- David Winton Bell Gallery

In pursuit of a career in competitive figure skating, I moved eight times around Massachusetts during my last two years of high school while living away from my family home in Nashville. Searching for a way in which to leave some type of mark on the places that I had lived in, some way to show that, for at least a brief period, I had considered them home, I began leaving drawings of the Morton’s Salt Girl taped somewhere in each place I had lived. 

In all honesty, I am not sure why I originally chose the Salt Girl as my symbol. I think I liked her cheeriness, her sense of innocence, her universal recognizability, as well as the design of the Morton’s Salt logo itself.  I think I also was enamored with the idea of leaving a trail, like the Salt Girl does with her salt.

Those two years of moving by myself from place to place showed me the ephemerality of “belonging”- how quickly we can find ourselves on the outside of a community we had once been a part of. I think I started leaving my Salt Girl trail in an effort to reassure myself that some memory of me would remain in the places I left behind, thus reassuring myself that, despite being constantly displaced physically, I would remain psychologically intact as an individual.  The salt itself also has significance, as it represents the tears, sweat, hard work, and time I lost to skating.

My performance attempts to express this experience of trying to leave a lasting record of my temporary existence in a space through the act of leaving my own salt trail in the gallery during the Student Exhibition reception. My work to leave an orderly trail of salt, covering up all of the Morton's Salt Girl drawings on the floor, symbolizes my attempts to find a permanent sense of home throughout constantly changing living conditions and the mental, physical, and temporal sacrifices I made to skating for twelve years of my life.