As I wrote to dear friends Melissa and Marylinn this morning - this is difficult material. I would, however, like to share the work I've been immersed in recently. It is 67 years since the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki - events too terrible to fathom and too terrible not to revisit. . . To quote the plea of survivors - Never again.
Yesterday I came across an excellent article that thoughtfully rephrases our common perspective. . .
The University of Otago's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies is hosting two Hibukashas (pronounced He-BAK-sha) - survivors from Hiroshima. Michimasa Hirata and Shigeko Niimoto Sasamori will be in Dunedin today and tomorrow. Prof. Kevin Clements has created two commemorative events in their honour. For those of you who live in Dunedin, please support either or both of these gatherings? Here is a flier with details re; times and places. . .
An exhibition has been arranged to accompany the lecture and comprises reproductions of nine artworks made by survivors, three pieces of mine and a sculptural work by Stephen Mulqueen. Stephen's long-term studio practice has included the transformation of bullet cases into peace poppies. For the purposes of this anniversary he has mounted a number of these in the shape of the symbol on the flag representing the Hiroshima prefecture. (I will post photographs of his work tomorrow - he'll be hanging it this morning.)
The paintings done by survivors are heart-breaking. . .
Carrying Her Dead Child On Her Back (detail) - Reproduction of a painting by survivor Kazuno Mae
as are their words, written and spoken ---
I printed these texts onto acid-free paper (the same paper I've used in the past for my many boats) and created three new flotillas; the first incorporating text, the second plain black (in response to a survivor's mention of 'black rain') and a third flotilla of very tiny (+/- an inch and 1/3 in length), pure white boats.
I will create a mandala out of the tiniest white boats and 'lay' them as a wreath beside this painting -
Corpses Piled Like Lumber - Reproduction of a painting by survivor, Kiyomi Kono
Deep Silence for Hiroshima (detail) - paper boat installation CB 2012
Deep Silence (detail - in process)
Flag for Hiroshima prefecture
Love & peace, dear Friends