This was a hard day. I had not seen this work for some time and reading the letters brought so much of the sadness back. But tomorrow the final bundling of War will be over.
This first one is one of the letters I sent the reporter for USA today and then his response back to the original letter I wrote asking about one of the victims he reported on, a young girl named Marianne.
These are copies pasted to the outside of the small coffin that holds every single newspaper image of those suffering in the Bosnian war….over four years of collecting them because I simply could not throw them away.
Here is the coffin.
The wild flowers were still in there with the pictures.
Here are the four coats with the grave blanket.
They will be bundled in the quilt titled, “Lost Peaces”.
The large photo will go into the bundle as well. I actually turned the quilt over before folding the coats in. Here is the quilt, now removed from our office wall.
Other letters I wrote, some to President Bill Clinton and his response.
And a letter to leaders in the former Yugoslavia.
Also wrapped today was a gourd with the first busload of children taken out of Sarajevo. My work of collecting started with these children.
And finally all bundled up is this small hand tied quilt of dry point images and lino prints of the story one Chechnyan woman surviving the war and finding her son on the battle field so she could bring him home. Nothing left for her but memories. I was struck how the mothers went to the Russian generals and asked for permission to reclaim the bodies. There was a brief cease fire to comply with the mothers’ wishes. In undergraduate school I made this small piece while learning various ways of printmaking.
It is physically hard to wrap this work up so I will finish wrapping tomorrow and then take a break before digging into all those specimens from Expedition to Elsewhere: the Expedition.
That will certainly be lighter in mood. But looking at how this is all stacking up, it is going to be one heck of a hole!