Sometimes you don’t know what you are doing or why you are doing it until later….

In memory of 39 migrants who lost their lives in a sealed container

lift the flap of old blanket and there hidden beneath is the number 39

in memory of the 39 migrants who lost their lives in a sealed container

I was on an Art Course last week and on Wednesday I created this piece – today, as I realised its connections and significance, I added the number 39, painted on with my finger, hidden beneath the piece of old blanket.

The process:

Our tutor, Helen Turner, did a demonstration using this red acrylic paint. It is not a colour I usually use, so to push myself out of my comfort zone I used the paint in various experiments.

At the end of the day whilst clearing up I cleaned my brush by wiping it backwards and forwards across a piece of A2 cartridge paper

I wasn’t sure how to use the piece of canvas, so I placed it on the paper whilst clearing up and left it there overnight. It had the look of a blood-soaked piece of cloth.

The next day, I put these three elements together. The weave of the blanket going with the criss-cross of the paint on the paper. The red blanket stitch, chiming with the colour of the paint. (The blanket is one that I had collected to send to Syrian refugees a few years ago – it was so old and threadbare, I had kept it back, wondering if I could use it in some creative way.)

I did not make the connection until today, but that morning at 1am, 39 dead migrants were found in a container in Purfleet, Essex, 50 miles away from where I was staying. The container was being driven by a red and white truck.

The aesthetic we were trying to embrace is Wabi Sabi, an Eastern concept, the migrants, so we have heard, were either from China or Vietnam.

Today I was going through the artwork I had done on my course and suddenly made the connection – I added the number 39.

It is now a piece in memory of those particular 39 migrants and all the other thousands who have died fleeing from war and poverty, searching for a better life.


11 responses to “39

  1. That is an astonishingly apt and poignant connection, Sandra

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A very poignant memory of the time and place of both events.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A chilling and effective work of art. There are so many sad stories about nameless, helpless people–why can’t we do more for them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so agree Kerry. The stories from the Vietnamese families who fear their loved ones died in that container are heartrending. They live in such desperate poverty stricken circumstances. I have to believe that a shift in global human consciousness will come – but let it be now!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so poignant, Sandra. A sad reminder, but still, a call to treat our fellow man with kindness and compassion; it’s a very moving narrative in word and art.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interconnection! I recognise the theme and it has worked well for you with this. The subject matter is so distressing but making a work of art about it is at least recognition of the suffering involved. Thank you for this Sandra. Have a lovely sunny Sunday.

    Liked by 2 people

I love your comments, keep'em coming :-)

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.