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Kristine’s Hope Chest

Kristine Erglis
Canada 1998

The central character in this visual story is the Hope Chest.  I play a secondary role and I am represented here by the paper mache figure with the hole in her soul and an exposed heart.  The setting “Life” is a jigsaw puzzle piece cut from a chess board.

The first things to be taken out of the chest are my sketchbook and pencil.  There are three other items on the board and they symbolize external influences that always shadow my moves.

The contents of the chest are: two teddy bears, a doll, a key, a warm knitted blanket, a couple of books, paintings (my work and that of others), pencils, a tin angel and bits of coloured wire.  All these items are needed by this nest builder to turn a room or apartment into HOME.

The colourful tin angel was given by a friend, here it means friendships and friends who are sometimes angels.

The colourful curly corkscrew bits of wire are the wonder and amazement that I carry around with me.

On the inside of the lid is a rejection notice from the New Yorker Magazine, and a letter written by my granny when she was 65.  She lived and died in Latvia.  She learned enough English to cobble together a now cherished letter to her 10 year old granddaughter.

I write a lot of letters and the stamps are the decals from my travels by mail.

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