From flames, come ashes and from ashes, the phoenix rises.
“The Phoenix is a symbol, and it’s been around for thousands of years, of rebirth,” explained artist Bobby Bacon. “It kind of was a great metaphor for Harvey because all of us, whether we were affected 2 or 98 percent, all of us had something happen to us with Harvey.”
That’s what inspired artist Bacon’s design of the city of Houston’s float for the H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade. Instead of ashes, his phoenix will rise from flood debris.
“We collected it. We had some of our own from personal experience. We had lots of people wanting to drop stuff off,” Bacon said.
To make sure the debris wasn’t too depressing during what’s a parade of celebration, Bacon asked for help from Art Car artist Rebecca Bass.
“I want it to be more uplifting,” said Bass.
She coated the float in a layer of glitter and glass, while Bacon worked on helping the phoenix fly. He cut, shaped and polished each of the bird’s 1,500 feathers.
“The feather count keeps growing because I keep adding feathers every time I look around,” Bacon said.
Like the effort to rebuild after Harvey, putting together the float is labor intensive. It will all be worth it on Thanksgiving Day.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work, but at the end of the day, you just go, this is great. This is good fun,” said Bacon.
This is Bacon’s second float for the H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade. Last year, he made the “Harried Shopper” for Highland Village.