Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Feeling Thoughtful

 Have you heard of the 70,273 project?

My DD's school has embraced it and is encouraging the girls and their parents to take part in producing blocks for it - they are hoping to make at least 1000 to contribute to the project.

In short, there was a little acknowledged atrocity committed during WWII.  Between January 1940 and August 1941 70,273 people with physical or mental disabilities were killed by the Nazis.

A report on the person was compiled and it was read by three doctors.  If at least two doctors decided that the person was 'unfit' by marking the page with a red X then that person would be killed, usually with hours.
 Jeanne Hewell-Chambers is organising a project to make 70,273 white blocks with a red double X on them, representing the people who lost their lives in this terrible action.

I love the idea that these people will be acknowledged and this atrocity brought to the attention of more people.  I know that I hadn't heard of it before now.  I think it is wonderful that we can, all these years later, subvert the X and turn it from a dismissal into a symbol of love.

These blocks will be joined to become wall hangings and quilts and the plan is to display them in several cathedrals, I think by Holocaust Memorial Day.

I'm showing you my first four blocks.  I'm expecting to make more.  Perhaps you'd like to join in too?

Thank goodness that the people that I know and love who have challenges, whether physical or mental, could not be put into such a program.  The times we live in are far from perfect, but at some points we do have to stand and contemplate that there have been improvements in attitude and expectation, even if there is still more change to push towards.

Kew Gardens is running an interesting project at the moment called 'Artful Autumn'.  They are giving garden visitors the chance to try several different 20 minute workshops.  We enjoyed the willow weaving one - finding out how relaxing it was to help fill in these forms created by Julia Clarke (who also has several large willow sculptures on display down the Cedar Vista) - as well as how strong your hands and fingers needed to be.
 We could also have tried creative writing or yoga.  A lovely tented area in a woodland setting.  It was a great addition to our visit - and is on for another two weekends at least.

It was a very peaceful atmosphere in the tent.  People were enjoying the creative challenge and quietly getting on with the task whilst chatting to others. 

I'm still a very strong advocate of crafting for wellbeing, in all sorts of ways!

We also loved the benches created by Nigel Ross and also displayed along the Cedar Vista. 

Beautiful forms and beautifully finished, I'd love to own one of these!  Lots of family debate about our favourite ones!

Whatever form your creativity takes I hope that you are finding time to make and contemplate this week.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Kew- what a great idea! I went willow making with a friend - we didn't really think it through - we made life size (!) deer and then had to get them and ourselves home in the car!!!!! Great fun though. Hope the XX project goes well xxxx


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