In my Kitchen Tarot deck, the next card I’d picked at random from the minor cards was the Knight of Wands, which in my deck is Wooden Spoons, not Wands. This card represents the adventurous and brave young man or woman, who’s full of impatience and hunger for growth and new experiences. Very self confident, even brash, there’s no holding this energy back. I thought about this card, when the royal wedding happened, and realized I needed to turn my wedding piece into the Knight of Wooden Spoons in the Kitchen Tarot.
This piece documents the royal wedding, but also includes the death of Osama Bin Laden, which happened two days after the royal wedding. In a Turtle Art Camp I was teaching at my home studio, I used making this piece as my airbrush demonstration, and also as an example of how to creatively invent a composition as you go. After drawing the bride and groom in with thick airbrush lines, I started adding other figures at the event, such as Queen Elizabeth and one of the funky hat wearers, Posh Spice, Victoria Buckham.
Now I don’t know much about these things, so it helped that I’d made a rare purchase of a magazine and had studied up on the wedding from the special People Magazine about it. I got all the little bridesmaids in, but left out Kate’s glamorous sister Pippa, whom all the press said had stolen the show. I also forgot Prince Harry and the two little pageboys, one of whom was the son of William and Harry’s nanny, Tiggy (was that her name?)
I managed to get one wooden spoon into this image. It’s a Welsh Love Spoon, drawn like a tattoo on Posh Spice’s chest. My student Louise Harrington from Cork, Ireland, told me about how these are often included in British weddings, so I made one for Kate and Willy.
There isn’t much writing on here about anything else, and I’ve included weird and interesting facts about the wedding, including that the cake was, in fact, made of 17 separate fruitcakes, cleverly disguised as wedding cake, under white frosting and hundreds of frosting flowers. I think there were 1,900 guests at the wedding, and one of the bridesmaid little girls was Camilla’s granddaughter. I forgot to put in Prince Charles, too.
I could make this piece over, and make it very large, but I think I’m done with the Royal Wedding. It was interesting that it took place 30 years after Charles and Diana’s wedding, and seeing a picture of the Queen 30 years ago was nice – she was very pretty at 55. Yikes! That was five years younger than I am now: 60, nearly 61!
The reason I put Osama floating in the ocean under the wedding, in my picture, is that I wanted to put those two events together. They are so different: one so fancy and public and one so nasty and hidden, both within three days’ time. And in between, my friend Janie Dessenberg died of cancer here in Ohio. It was a good time to have a piece to work on, and actually, this is my second one in so many days, with the other one emphasizing Janie and Osama’s deaths, with just the royal bride standing alongside them. Osama is wearing only a loin cloth, compared to all the fancy garments in the wedding, and when I finished my piece and had to decide where my Peace Cozy would go, I put it on his chest. I felt he could use some peace, after the life he’d led as the leader of Al Qaeda. RIP.
--Susan Shie, June 4, 2011, in Wooster, Ohio.