Bring Back Our Girls. Raising Awareness Through Art
The day I heard about the kidnapping of the girls in Nigeria, I couldn’t sleep that night. I had such a heavy heart for all those girls and their families. When I woke up the next morning I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I couldn’t get any of my work done. I started thinking about what my response as an artist should be. How can I communicate what is happening through the current medium I am working with (watercolor) to help raise awareness?
I’ve been playing with these little faces lately and it hit me to do over 300 of these faces as children. To help myself connect to the magnitude of this and open myself to feel empathy for all these little girls I began painting them out. It wasn’t until I started sketching the little faces in forms of terror, trauma, blank stares, and screaming that I allowed their current reality to hit me deeper. I was in tears the whole time, and not only for just them but all the children and humans that are greatly suffering in this world. As I painted and sketched I prayed for the girls, for their mothers and fathers, for Peace, for justice. I then went on to write an email to the white house and signed a petition through change.org
We hear so much bad news around the world and we can only take in so much and do so much to help those situations. I know this issue is just a drop in the bucket on the world scene. I also know that there are political powers at play that make this more complicated than just going in to rescue those girls. However, I think raising awareness and doing all we can as individuals- for whatever injustice we are passionate about- is a step in the right direction.
This piece isn’t finished. I’ve never made an instillation before so this process has surprised me. I chose to do it in a mobile form. A form associated with innocence to keep the attention of a baby in a crib. It has taken 20 hours of labor so far and a couple of friends helped me tie all the strings. There is still about 10 hours of labor before I feel it will be complete. I want to sew delicate blue string tears on some of the girls faces and from the center ring add cascading blue string in bulk that puddles on the floor.
In all of our consumption in America, of entertainment, art, food, -EVERYTHING! I hope that this piece helps people stop and reflect on how they can contribute to these larger issues for the sake of hope. We all play a part.