About “Ghost Tike: A Collective Memorial”


Andrew climbing the Japanese maple in our yard.

Ghost Tike is an ongoing, collaborative art installation project.

The project began in early 2019, twenty years after the death of my younger brother, Andrew John Stewart (1990-1999).

His cremated ashes had been scattered under the Japanese Maple Tree in our front yard, and it felt like we were leaving him behind. I regretted that the tree was on private land, now owned by someone else, which meant I could no longer visit his “grave.”

I decided to make my own tree, and began hand making the Japanese maple leaves individually out of paper and paint as an alternative memorial to him.

A ghost bike in Brooklyn that I often walk by.

Inspired by a ghost bike I often walked by during my commute, the project came to include a series of sculptures (still in progress), cast from existing toys and consumer objects that remind me of our childhood. The first object is the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe car (pictured below). When displayed the interior of the car will be filled with the handmade Japanese maple leaves.

“Like an untended ruin or cemetery plot, the amount of leaves will grow indefinitely over days, weeks, months, even years, filling up the interior of the car and overflowing to fill the space around it.”

As this ongoing piece progresses, workshop participants and gallery visitors will be invited to join me in the meditative, healing process of making these leaves while engaging in discussions about grief and loss.

Like an untended ruin or cemetery plot, the amount of leaves will grow indefinitely over days, weeks, months, even years, filling up the interior of the car and overflowing to fill the space around it.

Like grief, the piece will be ever-changing and never-ending. 


Wanna help?

I invite you to join me in my creative labor of grief! At my leaf-making events, you will find a safe space to share your story and connect with others who get it.

And as an added bonus: you get to help save the US Postal Service. Wahoo!

So, are you in?