Wow! I’m going to Geneva to speak at the United Nations Headquarter for Europe. When I was asked to speak, I immediately said, “YES”. It was 2 hours later, on my drive home from work that I had the anxiety attack, “What would I say? What would I wear? The journey to this point was short and sweet.
My fist project of the new year was to complete a small art quilt for an exhibit to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace and Security. I discovered the event through a Facebook friend who directed me to the QuiltChallenge.org website. (Thanks, Rose!) I was a late comer to the party (15 days to the deadline), but inspiration hit and I was able to complete the piece in time. Here is a photo of the quilt and the accompanying artist statement:
Women, the world over, toil daily to provide essentials for their families. They strive to provide such tangibles as food, clothing, shelter, and the intangibles of safety, security, and love. Such tasks are further complicated by relentless threats of destruction. Women find themselves continually mending the fabric of their lives, trying to restore beauty and function in the aftermath of war, greed, and lust.
This quilt began as a collage of photos collected over a decade of living, working, and traveling overseas. Many are my own. A friend who has traveled extensively as a medical volunteer contributed others. The quilt top was then torn, cut, burned and shot; literally, tearing families apart. Finally, the woman’s hands are shown working to stop the destruction, mend the damage, and repair the vision.
Shortly after submitting the work, I was notified that it would be included in the exhibit, that it would open at the beginning of March in Geneva and then later travel to DC and NY. As if that wasn’t thrill enough, my husband proposed that we travel to Geneva to see the exhibit. The trip was his gift to me to celebrate my 50th birthday. And the icing on the birthday cake: being asked to speak at the opening reception as one of the quilters.
I took on this challenge because I thought it would be a great way to connect and gain deeper understanding of the challenges faced by women around the world. I believed it would be an enlightening and rewarding experience; I never expected it to be so exciting!