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The Visitor (Triptych)

The Visitor (Triptych)

When I was a little girl, I had a brown Teddy Bear hamster that got out of his cage and disappeared somewhere in our basement. Actually, I've had a few hamsters disappear in our basement, but this was my favourite one, and his name was McDoogle. There was no trace of poor little McDoogle until maybe 8 years later when my dad, while re-organizing the basement, discovered a semi-furry skeleton in an unused vacuum next to his work table. It was a very sad thing.

Many years after this discovery I was lucky enough to go on a tour through probably THE most interesting house I've ever seen. There were all sorts of weird collections of the macabre sort: medical oddities/devices, taxidermy, Victorian children's coffins, hair wreaths, an amputated finger; really, more stuff than you could shake a stick (or finger) at. And the list goes on and on... Trying to narrow down what on earth I might base my piece on was a daunting thought, and yet I was more than excited to be a part of such an incredible project.

When things were coming to a close, we stood in the last room of the tour which was in the basement. Apparently there is one other room in the basement, but we weren't allowed into what he called, his "work room"... oh, how our minds whirled with the possibilities... but I digress. As we stood admiring the Tesla coil in the sci fi room, I had a sudden flashback to dear ol' McDoogle dying a miserable death in the old vacuum. Just as I wondered "why the hell am I thinking about dear ol' McDoogle dying a miserable death in the old vacuum cleaner?", Stephen pipes up and says "please excuse the smell, a rat has died somewhere down here and I haven't been able to find it yet".

Artist: Bonni Reid