I want to tell you about a new series I'm working on but first a little history... Some of you may be familiar with my Silent Voices series. If you look up top at the tabs you can find the series there. It's not complete but I will be adding more work there soon. To see the full series to date on my website click here. Anyway, that series is about infant adoption from my experience - the first/birth mother's point of view. In a few of those paintings I used the nest symbol as part of the work. From there I started exploring the bird nest as the main subject for my work and I LOVE doing them. If you go to my website you'll see a lot of them there. What does this have to do with the new series?
Over the last couple of years I've watched the stories about children at the border being held in detention camps or being taken from their families and flown to states far away to be put in foster homes with strangers. For many of us in the adoption community those stories are horrifying because we're all too familiar with the trauma of losing a child. First mothers know what it's like to have a child taken away. Adoptees and foster youth are too familiar with the loss of families.
I've watched year after year the stories of children dying in school shootings and nothing seems to stop them from happening. We see a story, shake our heads and scroll on to the next story. Just another day in the US. I recently saw an article saying that this past March was the first March without a school shooting since 2002. What a horrible statistic. And speaking of school, I've also seen articles about people debating whether or not children should be provided free meals at school. Why would anyone want a child to go hungry??
In the big business of domestic infant adoption, babies are only valued as commodities. Some people don't think children should get meals from the school system. School shootings don't seem to stop unless there's a pandemic keeping kids home from school. Why don't we value our children more? Why aren't we keeping them safer? Why have we forgotten the little ones at the border or the ones who were sent away? Why do so many live in poverty here?
I'm calling this series Don't Forget. It's my way of bringing attention to children. I'm including something related to babies and children with my nests as a reminder of children's needs. Too often they're the forgotten ones because the wants of adults end up overriding the needs of children. Money, egos, and adult desires get in the way of doing what's right for them.
For any paintings I sell from this series I'll donate 10% to Saving Our Sisters, an organization near and dear to my heart. Their focus is family preservation and saving vulnerable pregnant women from the predatory infant adoption industry. SOS and their "sisters on the ground" bring emotional and financial help to expectant moms so they can keep and raise their babies.
The piece above, Don't Forget, is the first painting in the series. Below are the next 2. I'll share more as I do them. I'd love to hear your thoughts about these and maybe even some suggestions for different items to include in future paintings.
The nature inspired nests and the adoption inspired nests are coming together in this new group. Working in a series can be a powerful way to evolve but that's a topic for another post.
Be safe, healthy and creative!