The crisis in Ukraine has really brought home the futility & destruction of war & how quickly millions can be displaced, leaving with only a little suitcase, probably never to return again. The sight of beautiful cities destroyed is soul destroying - why?
I like to retreat to the conservatory, as I did through the long lockdowns, and do something creative.
I did a felting course some years back with a really talented felter and it is a very calming process because you have to concentrate on where you want things to be because once you stab / pierce them in, it is almost impossible to change your mind without felting over it & hoping it is covered.
For my felting I decided to use blue & yellow as the main colours, with sunflowers too as they are the national flower of Ukraine. I teach war poetry & find symbolism a very powerful medium so I have incorporated a lot in to my images. It started as one & then I was inspired to do variations on a theme.
I first made this one - dark dramatic colours with sunflowers rising from it. The background is dark, threatening, foreboding.
The second image has dramatic sunflowers rising defiantly into the dark sky. However, down the centre, you can see sunflower petals falling to the ground where they become bright red poppies (symbols we associate with Remembrance Sunday here.
The third image was inspired by seeing a post about Faith, Hope & Charity. I have a gold charm my late parents bought me with the three symbols on it & so that was my inspiration. I wanted to combine them in one image & so did them as a trilogy. It was tricky & the cross & anchor should (to my mind) have been in a straighter row but I am pleased with the contrasts of the deep red heart & the bright sunflowers against it. The cross represents faith & so it was edged in gold thread & encircled with metallic beads to highlight the importance of keeping faith when everything else is lost. The anchor seemed lost so I added some blue colour around it but it still needs a little something.
I knew I wanted to return to the heart shape but started with a blue heart to represent the colours of Ukraine. The sunflowers are heavily sewn with yellow & gold metallic thread, then beaded with metallic centres to show the richness of Ukrainian society. Long beads pierce the heart but it keeps its shape.
Brown, mixed colours to the left of the shape sweep down to the base with red poppies, beads & red blood beneath the green. The blue sky has star beads sweeping across it with coloured beads which almost encircle the heart so it feels trapped by the details.
Once I started the last one, I worked solidly at the conservatory table for about 5 hours until I was aware of the light changing as I was beading - it is how I am seeing the war, the symbolism is powerful & heart breaking.
Do you have one you are more drawn to? Thank you for stopping by, keep the people of Ukraine in your prayers & be thankful for your life where you are.