A few years ago I started making cross stitch pieces based on anti-war graffiti found around the world. What began as a way to process the United States’ involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, ended up introducing me to the wonderful work of artists around the globe, which was a delightful surprise.
These tiny pieces have been shown in New York, Wisconsin, North Carolina and online, and I’m not finished yet.
For the past few years, I’ve been making cross stitch pieces based on anti-war graffiti found internationally. As some of the larger pieces have up to 30,000 stitches, it’s been a long process. I decided to cross-stitch them for two different reasons: 1) to put “dangerous” graffiti in a “safe” context, 2) to further elucidate that while their countries may fight, there are many citizens who remain opposed to war.
Graffiti brings up issues of ownership, especially if not tagged by the artist. Who owns it? The property owner? The artist? The city? They are the sentiments of the people who are not on television preaching foreign policy, the frustrated, the voiceless, the angry. They are art. But are things only art on gallery walls?
The war brings up a torrent of emotion in some individuals, while others ignore the death announcement of a local soldier made on the news. “No one I know is over there fighting,” is not a good enough excuse for avoidance. From Latvia to Bethlehem to the UK and beyond, the people on the streets are speaking.
They are showing us their carefully planned and stenciled views created in basements and bedrooms and studios in secret, then broadcast to the world one morning when the sun rises and reveals what was added in the dark.
This is part of a series that is ongoing.
If you’d like to learn more about these pieces or show any of them in your publication or gallery, please get in touch.