I created "Blossoms and Barbed Wire" hoping to be juried into a show (the theme was "Diaspora: Stories of Migration"). I was not accepted into the show. (I considered writing something wise or mature to follow my last sentence, but it felt fake. I am not devastated, just disappointed and moving on to other things.) Now let me tell you more about the project!
“Blossoms and Barbed Wire” was inspired by the duality of two moments in Japanese-American history: the 1912 gift of cherry trees to DC and the sadness of Japanese-American internment in the 1940s.
Flowers made with commercial fabrics, including novelty fabrics from Japan, represent the cherry trees in DC, which were gifted to the US by Japan in the early 1900s. This side of the story shows the beauty of the Japanese people and what they contribute to the US.
Circles on the backs of the bags represent the 10 major Japanese-American internment camps of the 1940s. Silver thread represents the barbed wire that surrounded the camps and nearly invisible circles within the circles represent the people behind the barbed wire.
These shoulder bags are beautiful, made from wool fabric and cotton canvas lining. I added a few bags to my online shop, but there are 7 available for purchase. You certainly can use this as a bag, but I will say it is also beautiful as a sculpture in your home or on your wall.
Peace and love, Dawn