Friday, July 10, 2015

- Hearts for Charleston: One step closer

Nine strips by nine strips have been torn and tentatively woven together ...


It's been an interesting journey so far, as I've alternated working out in the yard each morning, and then come in to stitch my ideas into reality each afternoon. Early on I realized that liturgical colors would play a role ... I'll write more about that in another post.

More critically, my initial idea to stitch the name of each person who lost their life onto nine of the strips ...


just wouldn't let go, but neither could I ignore Dee's request to "hold off on that for now." Digging in the hot sun, I recalled Psalm 139 with its references to being made in secret and woven together. So I ended up stitching each name ...


using shades of purple and red ...



Note: the strip for Ethel Lee Lance was reworked in a different cloth after this picture was taken

then turned them face down and set them as the vertical elements of the square, the names thus made "secret" ...


The horizontal strips were stitched with inspiration from Fiona Dempster ...



using words spoken or written by those who had lost loved ones, each strip corresponding to the individuals named above ...

Every fiber in my body hurts ... I will never be the same
Prosper and believe in any of your dreams
This has truly broken my heart in every way
We are the family that love built. We have no room for [hate]
She was where she needed to be ... she was not a victim
I forgive you and my family forgives you
You took something very precious ... and I forgive you
Their legacies will live in love so hate won't win
Hate is taught ... she never taught us to hate

Then the strips were interwoven, revealing key words in the process ...


While at the same time, the word "hate" that I had worried over ...


ended up concealed, as if it had been planned that way ...


As perhaps it had.

27 comments:

Dana said...

Oh my, oh my, oh my. This block is going to be intense. The decision to use the names reversed is so in keeping with your recent path and the phrases on top are perfect. Go Liz.

Liz Ackert said...

Going ... thanks to Jude. And fueled by the hope that maybe, finally, a tipping point has been reached in this sorry old world.

Suzanna said...

This piece is so thoughtful in its construction and so full of love...

Liz Ackert said...

It has enabled me to go deeper into this tragedy than I otherwise would have ... the response of the families to their loss is astonishing to me

jude said...

Lovely, Liz, I always love your attention to detail

Liz Ackert said...

Thank you Jude ... btw, those were my footsteps in your "classrooms" yesterday as I prepare for the next step.

Marti said...

Grace and grit here in this very moving weaving Liz and so fitting. Echoes of the families who stood facing such a terrible personal tragedy and who did so with strength, faith and deeply amazing grace...

Liz Ackert said...

It is beyond my ken ... I cannot imagine summoning forgiveness in the face of such loss.

susan said...

You are amazing. The time and love that has gone into this just moves me to pieces. As do the families that were left grieving the loss of their loved ones.

Mo Crow said...

such a beautiful honouring

Jennifer said...

Simply exquisite. Need to find the tissues as your words, artistry and understanding have brought tears.

Liz Ackert said...

I am honored to play a very small part in what feels like a sea-change in our country

Liz Ackert said...

The beauty is in the story ... it is indeed an honour to be one of its tellers

Liz Ackert said...

And your words in turn have prompted my own ... thank you for coming by and taking the time to leave them

deemallon said...

Oh Liz this moves me so so much. How much thought and care in your creation! There must have been something powerful in (among so much else) stitching "died JUNE 17, 2015" over and over again. And stitching the forgiving words and the words of loss. Was it hard to cover them up? Did it feel wrong to reverse the names? This had come out beyond what I could imagine.

handstories said...

Wow. The layers of this are beyond the words. Very powerful.

Liz Ackert said...

I used to wonder how Jude could cover one piece of work with another ... this project has opened my eyes to understanding that

Liz Ackert said...

It all feels like it is meant to be the way it is ... and I thank you again for trusting me with the small part of a very powerful whole

ARTISUN said...

Incredible work Liz, just incredible wow!!! You have such a big heart. I hope my students will stop by for a peek :)

Liz Ackert said...

Thank you Deb ... and I'd love it if any of your students came by!

Liz Ackert said...

To answer your questions ... stitching each name, I would repeat it in my mind, over and over, like a mantra. Likewise the words of the survivors ... which I now know by heart (quite literally). And the date is engraved in my memory, joining November 22 and September 11 ... too many dates, too many deaths.

Whether visible or not, they are always there.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

i read, word unto word, reading and it all unfolds...your process and then reading
the comments...woven into your words
you are creating something so so Excellect here. it's astounding your process, the
pieces turned away...this is holding me still in this moment....i'll be back....

Liz Ackert said...

I'll be here ... gentle day

Thread Born said...

Liz-- I've been away fr the computer ...but I have to say that this is a stupendous and moving piece! I love how you thought about how you'd represent the victims and the the healing words of the surviving family members...truly incredible!- Julie

Liz Ackert said...

Thank you Julie ... I think it was the librarian in me ... researching each person to try to understand more about them, plus being so affected by the words of the survivors as they were broadcast. I couldn't let those things go ... so somehow I had to find a way to let them stay.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

"i couldn't let those things go...so somehow I had to find a way to let them stay"

Liz Ackert said...

I can be a bit stubborn when I get an idea in my head ...