Bottle Tree has Entered the Realm of Folk Art

Stockholm, Sweden International Fine Art Fair. "Hanging Glass in the Light so It Can Sing" , is an installation I'm presenting at the Supermarket 2015. The bottles represent a by-product of the slave trade, and in the southern states as post slavery external markers, in yards, as bottle trees; the bottle can trap bad spirits it is believed that shinny things around the house would attract evil things from the family.
The shelf is recycled from the "Scope of the Wiki", Installation, 2009 at the Chicago Cultural Center.

While Europeans adapted the bottle tree idea into hollow glass spheres known as “witch balls,” the practice of hanging bottles in trees became widespread in the plantation regions of Southern states and from there migrated north and inland into Appalachia.
 If you don't want to put up a tree. You can hang a jar in a tree add colored water, also known to capture evil spirits. Cobalt blue bottles are coveted because they repelled the evil spirit and trapped night spirits to be destroyed by the rising sun.


Self Portrait, from the Sapphire and Crystals Exhibition at Southside Community Art Center,
"Friendship, Courtship, Marriage, Love, Hate" HIV/AIDS Group Installation at Murphy Hill Gallery

Traditionally the bottles are placed on the branches of a crepe myrtle tree. The image of the myrtle tree recurs in the Old Testament, aligned with the Hebrews’ escape from slavery, their diaspora and the promise of the redemption of their homeland.
Antique Milk of Magnesia bottle, Lakeland GA, bottles have transparency of artwork from slides.

The bottles are placed upside down with the neck facing the trunk. Trees need not be thickly populated with bottles. Malevolent spirits, on the prowl during the night, enter the bottles where they become trapped by an “encircling charm”. It is said that when the wind blows past the tree, you can hear the moans of the ensnared spirits whistling on the breeze. Come morning they are burnt up by the rising sun.
Bottle tree colors can range from blue, to clear, to brown, but cobalt blue are always preferred: in the Hoodoo folk-magic tradition, the elemental blues of water and sky place the bottle tree at a crossroads between heaven and earth, and therefore between the living and the dead. The bottle tree interacts with the unknown powers of both creative and destructive spirits.


Art on Armitage, gallery wall layout, for participating artists, Mary Ellen Croteau  owner.
Mary Ellen Croteau, Alan Emerson Hicks, Rose Camastro-Pritchett,  Kathy Weaver , Ayala Leyser,  Nelson Armour  and Lelde Kalmite

RESOURCE/REFERENCE
Thomas Atwood, in History of the Island of Domi (1791), made particular note of the bottle tree as a protection of the home through an invocation of the dead. Atwood writes of the confidence of the blacks “in the power of the dead, of the sun and the moon—nay, even of sticks, stones and earth from graves hung in bottles in their gardens.”

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