“No More Names” by Ellen Melchiondo

No More Names by Ellen Melchiondo

“No More Names” was made to memorialize the lives of women that were beaten down by death by incarceration and to lift up those currently entombed in prison serving life without parole sentences. Though the figure has no arms, it doesn’t render the women powerless nor decrease their strength. I attached two milagros to symbolize their arms/resilience and a house, as prison is not their home-home is a place they belong to and strive to recreate outside of the prison boundaries. The quotes are from women currently in prison at Muncy and Cambridge Springs. I believe in their right for freedom. I believe in burning down the institutions and hope for the day that the basket containing their names can be lit on fire too-end death by incarceration.

Mixed Medium, 26″X14″x8″

[Image description: A sculpture of a form painted with hues of browns and reds. The following quotes are painted in red, blue, and green text over white painted rectangles: “Ask for help. Hold onto hope.” “Please forgive me and keep me in your prayers.” “It is the hardest cruelest thing to go through.” “It was extremely hard to write about my crime.” “I made a terrible mistake but I am not a mistake.” “I should have left my husband.” What would Sharon Wiggins do…?”  Atop the neck of the form there is an orange lilly. Around the neck is a tan collar with a handle-like wire with a red butterfly attached. Around the neck there is a necklace with a gold arm, and around the waist, a blue braid with a small gold charm. A white fabric with grey and red lettering wraps around the form, which sits in a silver basket containing small strips of white paper with the names of prisoners.]

Ellen is one of the co creators of the Women’s Lifers Resume Project