I've never been able to write about this work here & yet I have shared it elsewhere.
It hung in our LTTL exhibition last year & it's in a book !
Sometimes these things are just too close.
Pare Kawakawa is in the studio with me.
It keeps me company.
It sits adjacent to the high south facing window & through the window I can see the sky.
A sky just like any other day.
The materials used are cotton fabric, cotton thread & textile paints.
It is a new work which came about because I wanted to articulate the impact that the shootings & subsequent deaths of the 51 people in the mosques in Christchurch has had, & continues to have, on our nation &, of course, it has become a way for me to process my own grief.
New Zealand is a small nation & to lose 51 people in this way is incomprehensible.
When I realised I knew one of the 51 my already broken heart felt like it might explode.
I wanted this work to remember them, to represent the 51 people who have died.
I wanted the work to be quiet, to be gentle but not fragile.
I wanted it to be light; to suggest the time & the light that comes after the heavy darkness of death.
The moment when things shift, spirits lift, time expands, stretches to infinity & the mind can quieten so that the heart can remember.
And, above all else, I wanted it to be beautiful.
There seem to be too many words, too many stories & I find the words & the stories become chaotic when I try to write them down.
My thoughts become cluttered & disorderly.
The sheer volume of words becomes as unbearable as the grief.
When I sit & stitch I don’t question. My choices are clear & instinctive.
I simply make one stitch at a time.
I intuitively know what to do.
I trust the process & my heart guides me.
My mind is free to wander & when the tears come I pause to let them fall.
It will be nice when I am able to stop crying . . . but it seems that it won’t be today.