The Marriage of William and Marion
The Marriage of William and Marion, by Denise ((bonaimo)) Sarram, 18" x 9.5" x 2" Assemblage, 2020
paper collage, watch parts, vintage jewelry, ceramic heart (made by Abbie Kasoff) and embellished with handmade paperclay wings and metal, keys, raw silk, fabric flower, point de gaze lace, vintage wooden frame, ancestor photo
(Click on the middle of the image to view in full screen mode for the best view)
William and Marion are my paternal grandparents. They are both first generation Americans, born in the United States. New York City, specifically, as many turn of the century Italian immigrants found themselves refuge in the neighborhoods where people with similar heritage lived.
This is their wedding photo, which I embossed and colorized. This gorgeous, enormous lily bouquet has always piqued my interest because I know my ancestors were working class. Having a bouquet like this must have been a very special detail for her wedding day.
Together they had six children, one of which is, of course my father. The watch winder stems at the top represent Marion's births. For you see, my father had an younger sister who died when he was a toddler.
I marvel at the commonality of large families people had in the past. Being a parent of five children doesn't leave much room for self care, much less time for hobbies and personal interests. Maintaining a happy household, working tirelessly to put food on the table/ clothes on their backs and making certain your children have it " better than you" takes a level of resilience that I wonder if I'm even capable of today.
Grandma Marion and Grandpa Willy, as we called them, were a fixture in my life as a child. I remember their home in Brooklyn, specifically the beautiful hydrangea bushes they had in their front walkway. Later they moved to Long Island and we would take the drive from Brooklyn and sleep over for the weekend. We had all kinds of fun there. I have many wonderful memories of Christmas with aunts, uncles, and cousins in a house filled with activity and laughter.