Haiti Art Project: mixed media


I think I’ve mentioned before in this blog that I’m a visual artist–a self-taught one. 

However, since the internet connection at our house in Haiti is so slow, it’s been nearly impossible to upload images of my work.  While I’m home in the US, then, I want to take advantage of more bandwidth to share photos of some pieces I’ve completed in the past several months.

Today–a mixed media table I’ve made for our main living area in Haiti.  It attempts to map in visual terms the spiritual and emotional journey Sara and I have taken in the past 2 years, moving first to Vietnam and then more recently resettling in Port-au-Prince.

The table is part collage, part decoupage,  part painting.  The photos below begin with one of the corner where the table sits and then offer a narrowing series of snapshots of the table top itself.  You will see parts of Hanoi maps and other collected papers from the past year arranged, along with painting, to create an eight-pointed star.

I designed the table to fit between the black couch and love-seat and to coordinate with the colors in this space.

The table incorporates colors that are repeated on the sofa pillows, the wall behind the love-seat, and the painting (not mine) above it.

Nearly all of my work uses the checker-board graphic to one degree or another.

In some ways the table top resembles a game board, as Sara and I feel we have almost had to play a game of strategy in making our lives function smoothly while living abroad--"smooth" being a relative term.

In the lower left corner I incorporated a portion of an Hanoi street map, as well as pieces of an invitation to a reception with Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter. In Vietnam I volunteered my communications skill for the Carter Work Project in the Mekong.

Finally, this section of the table focuses on Haiti and my belief that there is hope for the place we now call home–my belief that good things will eventually come to our small corner of the Caribbean.

 

Do you have any questions about this tiny table or about my work as a visual artist?

15 thoughts on “Haiti Art Project: mixed media

  1. I like the table too…love the vibrant colours! I do decoupage as a hobby using images from the Victorian era of ephemera…usually trays as gifts for friends and relatives.

    Glad you’re enjoying your vacation!

    Wendy

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  2. Oh, you’re so creative, Kathy. The table is stunning and made more so by the significance of the checker board and all the elements that mean so much to you and Sara. I love it.
    Thanks for sharing this, and I look forward to seeing more of your work.
    Sunshine xx

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    • Thanks, Sunshine. As I told Lisa, it’s nice to have a creative outlet that’s visual for those uncomfortable stretches of writer’s block. However, I usually find myself incorporating something that’s textual into my visual art.

      Hope you’re enjoying a lovely London weekend!
      Kathy

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  3. Beautiful table. I’ve only just begun to follow your blog, and I’m finding your experiences really interesting. I have a question, not about your table but about what you do in Haiti. As I said, I’ve only recently found your blog, and can’t yet piece together what work brings you there. You mentioned once Sarah’s office and now your communication skills (and working with the Carter Works Project, which I’m sure was a remarkable experience). Solve the puzzle for me? Or I’ll just have to continue reading?

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    • Let me thank you, Kirsten, first of all for reading–I appreciate your stopping back by and taking the time to comment. And I’m happy to share a bit of background with you.

      First, it’s not my work that has brought me to Haiti–but that of my partner Sara. I have relocated to Port-au-Prince to be with her–putting my own career as college writing instructor on the back burner for now. Sara directs one major international NGO’s response to the earthquake here. Her expertise is in disaster response. She directed the same NGO’s response to the 2004 tsunami in Asia. We are trying not to overtly identify which NGO in my blog–though I’m happy to share that info in an email, if you’re dying to know.

      This time off from my regular work has given me the opportunity I’ve wanted for a long time, actually, to focus on my writing and visual art. I’m trying to introduce a new degree of writing discipline into my life by resurrecting this blog that I began nearly 2 years ago now–but then abandoned for a year. The blog began in January of 2009, as Sara was contemplating a return to international work after a year and a half of more regional focus. This shift for her took us to Vietnam for most of 2009–actually until the January 12th earthquake in Haiti, when Sara’s NGO asked her to direct their operation in Port-au-Prince. While we were living in Vietnam, I volunteered my writing skills for the Carter’s 2009 project in five Mekong countries. I only worked in the Vietnam location.

      Feel free to go back in to this blog’s archive beginning in January of 2009 to follow the part of our story.

      Thanks for asking these questions. It reminds me that periodically I need to orient new readers. I’m thrilled you’ve begun following the blog. Feel free to ask all the questions you like. Sometimes questions lead to good posts, as well–when I realize–Oh, yeah, I could/need to write about that.

      Happy Holidays,
      Kathy

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