A Flower for Ethyl Eichelberger is a series of knit sculptures made between 1991 to 2001. The project began as an homage to the drag performance artist and playwright Ethyl Eichelberger, who committed suicide in 1991 when he found out that he had AIDS. "...Knitting was meaningful with regards to Ethyl's gender- bending persona but also slow and incremental. And it happens by hand which frees up the mind to think and by the end of the day I could see how much I accomplished. In addition to being very practical it was also a poetic way to deal with my feelings and thoughts. I started with a complicated personal set of issues and, without really being too aware of it, channeled them through the filters of Eichelberger, AIDS, gender and identity into something larger. Meanwhile, the longer I knit, the more it transcended into a genuine, spiritual, and existential meditation on the passage of time, with my time being the principal capital..."
Excerpt from an interview with Ian Berry, Oliver Herring: Me Us Them