Wallflowers and Mums

A few weeks ago I happened upon The Perks of Being a Wallflower on Amazon & thought I'd give it a try. I fell in LOVE. It's so exciting to find a movie that touches your soul. It's rare and it's beautiful. I'd heard about the book for a long time and specifically the famous quote...

The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been floating around in the background of my life since I saw the movie (twice now). High school was an incredibly hard and awkward time for me. Not necessarily as tragic as the movie, certainly not, but tragic in my own sense. I'm not really going to go into it, I mean, you're not my therapist. The movie brought it all out, those emotions. I had so much anxiety watching it. Wanting to protect Charlie, keep him from being hurt. It's also so uplifting. To find friends like that, to find your people at such a young age is an incredible gift. I didn't find my people in high school and it makes me sad. I did meet some really great people and some not so great people and learned a lot about people and how it's rare for them to say what they mean. Lot's of hard lessons there. I remained a wallflower and probably would still be described that way. And that's OK.  

I'm reading the book now. I'm savoring it and swimming in it. I'd love to hear if you've read it or the movie. I'd love to chat about it with someone.

But really the movie brings me to some artwork that a friend sent me a few months ago. We laughed and laughed and recalled memories while looking at them together. MUMS. OMG mums. Did you have mums in high school? I moved to Katy TX in 9th grade. I had not heard of these ridiculous mums till seeing them in school, on people. That was maybe one of the best moments of my life. It'd been a long time since I'd laughed that hard. {I mean seriously no offense to those of you that grew up with the tradition.}

Artist Nancy Newberry took inspiration from her own memories to create this brilliant photographic journey called Mum. In her words, "Artificial, shiny and virtually unknown outside of Texas, the Homecoming Mum is an elaborate corsage, exchanged between friends and lovers. They are ritually worn and subsequently immortalized, tacked to bedroom walls as trophies. At a time when many American high schoolers seem purposefully disengaged from the world around them, the Mum constitutes both a unique act of cultural immersion and a specific brand of folk art."

Shot slowly and inspired by an interpretation of my memories, I have limited the settings of the photographs to in and around the subject’s homes. In this very personal space, I pair spontaneous and carefully arranged moments to construct chaos; my interest is in the struggle between self and culture, the real and the perceived. With the extravagance of adornment and insignia the work continues to explore ceremony and commonplace.
— Nancy Newberry

The settings in each photograph are perfect. Showing the homes of Texas suburbia as the backdrop to the teenagers and their mums brilliantly shows the contrast of teenage rebellion and the desire to fit in. I mean these mums are heavy! & boys wear mums too! I had to buy a mum for my homecoming date senior year and was so clueless about it my dates mother had to add things to it to make it presentable. I was clearly not cut out for Texas suburbia. I believe these prints are available for purchase in limited editions. You can click any image to be take to Nancy Newberry's site. She has other great photographic series on her site as well. I can't wait to see her next vision!

Don't you love it? This is art that makes me feel and reminisce. Did you wear a mum for homecoming? If this is your first time seeing mums? I'd love to hear your gut reaction.

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love contact me about Jamie House Design services!