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2007 Journal - Windows of Hope

2007 Journal - Windows of Hope


My mom worked in Japan in 1946 and 1947 with the US Occupation Army, when she fell in love with the country, its people, culture, and beauty.  She purchased a photo while there of this little girl.  Amid the rubble from the bombings, someone had made a swing for the kids.  I have always been haunted by this photo.

In 1996, after Daddy died, my Mom finally had the opportunity to return to Japan, and she invited me to go with her.  One of the stops on our tour was Hiroshima, where I took the contemporary photos of the Peace Monument and the sculpture dedicated to the little girl who made origami cranes, in a vain attempt to survive the radiation sickness that killed her.  Her optimism and hope and spirit have inspired her nation, and many others, ever since. 

In Japan, the crane is a symbol of good luck and long life, so I made a screen design of an origami crane in honor of this tradition, the little girl, and hope.  The pictures of the bombed out building show our past, the cranes and the monuments to peace are our hope for the future.

The first detail photo shows the sheer overlay--I painted thinned green paint onto a sheer fabric for my Tree Spirits 2:  Song of the Solstice Grove quilt, and also browns for the tree trunk.  The first attempt was a flop...the green lady looked plastic-y...the paint was too thick.  But I couldn't bring myself to through out nearly 2 yards of painted fabric.  I used the bottom left corner as the overlay for this journal quilt, then cut out the windows to reveal the screened origami cranes (I made the designs, had the thermofax screens made for me since I don't have the machine...some day!).

The second detail shows a scanned photo (lightened to simulate age) of the little girl on the swing; mom bought this print in Japan when she served there in 1946 and '47.   I printed the scan onto the reverse side of a soft pink/peach fossil fern cotton, applied fusible web to the back, cut it out along the upper silhouette lines, and fused it to the batik background.

Size:  17 by 22 inches.
In the Collection of my mom