Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hope's Harvest

My program Seasons of Hope concluded today with a show and tell of the female inmates accordion artist's books. Each woman read the story or poem that they wrote and proudly talked about their books. I was quite pleased with the dedication these women exhibited. Each book represented countless hours of cutting and pasting and imagining. I was quite impressed by one woman in particular, being denied scissors, used nail clippers to meticulously cut out tiny shape after tiny shape to form the image of luscious leaves on a tree in full bloom.

Through bookmaking, collage and storytelling, Seasons of Hope invited women to take a critical look at the natural world around them through the changing seasons. By looking at nature with its abounding beauty and change, the woman identified elements in nature that paralleled changes in their own lives. Participants explored their selves as being a part of nature with all its inherent changes and glimmers of hope.

Through the art of collage, women explored how bits and pieces of paper can be cut, torn and assembled to form something new and unique. With these materials they are literally piecing together new personal expressions and ways of being. Using paste paper as a paper decorating technique, the participants painted expressively and uninhibitedly using bold bright colors and subsequently used these papers in their collages to form their unique one-of-a-kind artist’s books.