Several months ago, my friend Trudi from Two Dresses Studio, put out a call for a very special art project hosted by the Holocaust Museum in Houston, Texas. The goal of this worthy project is to collect 1.5 million butterflies - each one a representation of a child who's life was sacrificed during the Holocaust.
When I began this project, I approached it as another exercise in creativity . . . a simple art project. Never did I realize the profound effect it would have on my spirit. As each layer was applied, the significance of each symbol left an indelible imprint of sadness and loss. And, when the final bead was strung, I sobbed.
How does one reconcile the beauty of a butterfly with such profound sadness? Trudi expressed it beautifully when she said, "It's so terribly bittersweet, so sad and difficult to express the 'joy' of a butterfly with the young innocent lives that didn't have a chance to blossom."
I hand painted deli paper with bright colors to symbolize the beauty and individuality of each child. Numbers were added, as well as a symbolic stamp that represents how the children were restrained. Copper metallic spatters represent the bloodshed. The child in the center is raised, because I truly believe each of these little spirits went to Heaven immediately. She is holding a bouquet of flowers in remembrance. Finally, the moonstone beads strung on fibers represent the tears that were shed as well as hope and love.
I am humbled and honored to participate in this worthy project. If you'd like to participate too, you can click here to read more about it or click on the "Butterfly Effect" button in my sidebar.
May we always remember and never forget.
Credits: Thank you to the Graphics Fairy for the top half of the doll body. Thanks also to Tumble Fish Studio - Etsy for the bottom half of the doll body and the crown. All images were hand colored and altered.