Hurricane Cabinet

On September 28, 2023, Hurricane Ian hit my hometown in southwest Florida. Many of my friends and family decided to stay and ride out the storm. Because of the intense winds and flooding, it wasn’t long before they lost electricity, safe running water, and nearly all cell phone reception. I was 1,200 miles away, helpless and fielding sparse texts and phone calls as the storm hovered over them for over 8 hours. They were pleading for information about the storm’s location and when the battering winds and accumulating rain would end. In the days to follow, I was placing calls to FEMA, telling family and friends where they could go to find clean water and food, and receiving photos of the devastation. 

A dear friend sent images of his home destroyed with a stained water line 6ft up the walls in his bedroom. As he listed all the things he had lost, he told me how much he wished he had packed up “photos, my favorite t-shirt from high school, notes and cards… the things you don’t think to grab when you’re fleeing a storm.”

I began making Hurricane Cabinet the week after Hurricane Ian made landfall in my hometown. The concept of this cabinet is an attempt to save often-forgotten sentimental objects from flood waters. Intended to be hung 7ft up on the wall, the storage inside is perfectly sized for greeting cards, 4x6 photographs, and concert tickets with plenty of space for your favorite t-shirt from high school. Inlaid scupper drains are drawn from the boats that had been carried miles on to land. The sharp, angled doors swing out like shards of debris blanketing the ground. The radial pattern of the doors and back panel are reminiscent of the fallen trees, homes, and power lines that lined the roads I traveled growing up.

Ash with walnut details and handmade brass toggles

8"H x 49"L x 11"D