Lady Marmalade

by Jodi Rodgers

Lady Marmalade, 2002 (Silver wire, telephone wire, various beads. 6” x 2.5”) This is a wire sculpture comprised of telephone wire an artist friend found at a construction site. I created this festive, African-style dancer as a tribute to my mother’s Haitian background, as well as an icon to my personal archetype of the empowered tribal woman. In addition, Patti LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” a sassy tribute to Creole culture, was one of the first songs I learned to sing from the radio while growing up in the 1970s. I especially enjoyed exaggerating this figure’s womanly fullness and uniquely feminine strength because this piece was created for a community art show for sexual violence survivors. I wanted to depict the celebration that my life has become since I’ve completed my healing process from sexual trauma. I was surprised to discover how much I delighted in working with this unusual wire. On the other hand, it was soft and colorful due to its function for telephone wiring, yet on the other, had slightly limited flexibility in a way that posed a challenge with which I could play.

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