United States

Roses Have Thorns

Submitted by: Anita Lyte Williams

Materials: Black damask of stylized woven roses, embroidered commercial appliqué of roses with leafs, assorted beads and Druze rock slices, miscellaneous further embellishments.

I remembered I had this rose ‘applique’ which I purchased ages ago for a reason that now escapes me! The black background fabric is a gorgeous piece of black on black damask in stylized roses.

As I begin to formulate my ideas, I also let my materials talk to me. My approach is rather acidic and sardonic…softened by the use of beautiful beads, for life is full of irony, isn’t it?

The roses represent all that was expected, accepted, familiar, and usual in our lives before we were jerked into this new reality…but also, as a living plant, a source of oxygen for us to breathe.

I wanted something alien and harsh to finish my approach. These ringed druzi stones were perfect. As I added beads to them, I wanted to tell the story of these harsh, sharp ‘alien’ forms that appear mild upon entering our body, only to suddenly turn into vicious wild attack dogs as they move down into our lungs, eating up prized healthy lung tissue as they rapidly multiply. I hope they illustrate my anger at what they do to us…this interruption of all our lives.

Red beads show the blood flow through our lungs, and the destruction that occurs, while the mixture of dull colored beads represent the chaotic rampage of the invading virus.

I needed to get this angst out of my head, out of my system, and am thankful I have art as my vehicle. I’m gluing the pieces on as fine sewing and beading are out of my league anymore with these old hands and eyes. It will work and serve its purpose. And now, it is finished…..

This mask was created for the Breathe community Facebook group – A collection of traditionally crafted masks demonstrating resiliency through 21st century pandemic.

Please add your completed masks into this album. We welcome you to add a description of some of your thoughts around completing your mask during this challenging time.

Posted by Lisa Shepherd on Tuesday, April 7, 2020