Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Man's Darkest Side through the Windows of Hope




We visited Hiroshima a few years ago, and it was a very moving experience. The Peace Park is full of tragic and hopeful scenes. One of the sites that struck me the most was this building, the former promotion hall, that was at ground zero of the bomb. As you walk around the area, you come to a shinto alter which contains the names of the victims. As you gaze through an opening in the alter, you see in the distance the peace flame and beyond that, the promotion hall. Peace Park is a place of rememberance and teaching, not just sorrow, although there is plenty of that. The plan there is to leave the peace flame burning until nuclear weapons have been eradicated, then it will be extinguished. We were there in winter and this tree was very stark and very fitting with feelings I had looking at the building.

Deborah just asked me to show the original image so I'm adding it in here.



This piece was made using a thermofax image, stitching, painting, then stitching again with gold thread.



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11 comments:

Deborah Boschert said...

This piece has the amazing power to stand alone as a lovely piece of art but it is further enhanced by the powerful story behind it. You have used the various techniques just perfectly. I love the gold stitching. Can we see the original photograph? I think that would be really interesting.

Dolores said...

This is such an effective piece! The whole area looks as if it is on fire.

Françoise said...

Beautiful. Very moving. I didn't go to Hiroshima, but I saw a small memorial in Ueno Park (Tokyo) with a little peace flame as well. Very impressive.

Terry said...

Lovely. Hope does shine through what could be a scene of only despair and tragedy.

Kristin L said...

You have expressed the starkness of the place well. It has a certain fragility to it too. I suppose peace is like that -- fragile.

Diane said...

Karen, this piece has very strong emotional power even without reading your description about it. There is something so immediately striking about a window in bare, solitary wall -- such emptiness and sadness and strange uselessness.

So you've captured your sense and memory of Hiroshima very well. I so enjoy seeing how you use your surface design skills.

StegArt said...

I agree with Diane in that the emotional impact is very strong here. Again, as with other quilts in our ongoing project, I have the opportunity to see something new to me and the story behind it. It gives me a chance to know more about our world. Your techniques and visual results in your quilt are fabulous.

twolimeleaves said...

This is a very intense piece; in fact, it's almost overwhelming. I find it full of forboding. Quite an achievement in thread and cloth!

Gerrie said...

I really love your work, Karen, and this piece does not disappoint. I hope that flame can be extinguished and soon. I love images of trees without their leaves. Thank you for this beautiful and haunting image.

Helen Conway said...

I will be right at this spot in January next year and will now see it recreated in my minds eye as your interpretation! It is very evocative.

AnnMarie said...

I am in the process of completing a thesis for one of English classes and something brought me to your square. I am writing about the healing power of quilting and your square is so representative of my theme. Thank you for not being afraid to "express your emotions" through the artistry of your creation.