I am very eager to take part in any call for art, I just don't know where to look for them. While hopping around in twitter land I per-chance found a fellow mixed media artists video segment showing the creation of a butterfly. She then went on to show what it was for and I looked up the website right away.
The Butterfly project is being organized by the Holocaust Museum in Houston TX. They are collecting 1.5 million hand made butterflies in an effort to remember the 1.5 children lost during the Holocaust. If you want to send your own butterfly, or your child wants to make one or two or three you have until December 31st 2012 to do so.
I spent the first half of the day working on my buttefly, the whole time thinking about the children that lost their lives during this tragic period in history. Not only jewish children died but also gypsy children and the mentally disabled. Brand new babies were euthinized, children too young for labor were medically tested upon. We now have organizations that protect animals that are tested upon... children? Can you even imagine?
I can barely stand when my child runs a high fever or is put on the bus for the very first time... let alone have one or all of them ripped from my arms after birth or taken awayon a train never to be seen again. I can not fathom my children tattoed so young or wondering why their hungry bellies hurt so. While painting, chalking, and drawing this butterfly I thought of the parents of these children. The mothers who felt helpless, unable to save their children from the horrors of World War 2. The constant lump in their throats and fear in their hearts. They must have shed tears until there were none left, due to dehydration and/or the emptiness of giving up.
We live in this time of freedom, an era of being able to provide even when it is tough. Economic stress, pinched pockets, and tents on wall street really can't compare. Those people complaining can keep on complaining because at this point in my life, though money is not what we are comfortable with... we have each other. No one is taking my children or guiding me into buildings for a mass and fear filled murder. We may not have extra cash to spend, a fancy car, or huge house... but what we do have is everything else... and that everything else makes me thankful.
I spent an hour researching and reading about children in the Holocaust. I am not jewish, I know nothing of the war other than what media has put in front me. Reading about these children, seeing their pictures, imagining their pain... was more than I could bare. I honestly had to stop looking and reading, and just sit at my studio table.
This butterfly I created with paper, antique book papers, chalk, colored pencil, ink, clear gesso, pen, gel pen, and other various materials symbolizes a child lost during the Holocaust. Thoughts danced and bumped into eachother inside my head... and there, a quote appeared between these ears... "In heaven they traded tears for crowns of gold". Those children deserved the arms of God or whoever is there when we die to comfort us. Little kings and queens... innocent bystanders to someones broken cross symbol flying on a red, black, and white flag.
The music note background is only there for scanning. This butterfly is actually cut out directly to the shape. This exhibition is scheduled for spring 2014. I don't care if my butterfly is seen, I just care that it is there and can symbolize a fallen child... that it can be one of the 1.5 million butterflies being collected. How I wish I could see the exhibition in person!
Thank you for your visit today. Thank the universe for your life today... for the life of your children if you have any. Be thankful for the simple things such as water and food. Re-evaluate your situation when you picture the ones you love being taken away. It's easier to take off the rose colored glasses when something is put right into your view.