I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 31 July 2015

Lost Lives





Hello all, and a very warm welcome to Words and Pictures!

It's Tag Friday at A Vintage Journey today... When there's an extra Friday in the month (which happens more often than I'd've guessed) you get a whole extra array of inspiration from the Creative Guides - all tags and all inspired in one way or another by our guiding light, Tim Holtz.

So do hop over there and check out the goodies on offer, but before you go, here's my offering.

I usually take Tag Friday as an excuse to go back to basics and stick essentially to inks and stamps, but it got just a little bit busier this time because of the story which took over the process.

It has an unexpectedly dark underbelly, so be warned.








I started with a wrinkle-free distress background which was hanging around on the craft table.

I'd been experimenting with some of the new Distress colour releases, and this was a combination of Mermaid Lagoon, Twisted Citron and Hickory Smoke.

As usual, I put so much ink on the mat that I ended up with three tags.







This one was the second one - so had a medium amount of inky distress, which then gained depth with added stamping and ink-blending.  Since those new colours were already in action, that's also what I pretty much stuck to as the tag progressed.

You can see the two I still have waiting to play with... that's for another day.










So what's behind this tag?  Well, it's a combination of things... 

(And from here, feel free to stick to just the pictures if you want, as the words are heading to some dark places.)












I watched the Dispatches documentary Escape from Isis which, while it dealt mainly with the lucky few who are managing to escape across the border from the Daesh territory, couldn't help but leave one sickened and despairing for the thousands upon thousands trapped inside, particularly the women and girls.




They will never get to experience a life which we would call in any way normal - compulsorily veiled so that even their eyes are invisible, and told that their voices must not be heard in public; girls as young as nine sold into marriage at slave markets.  Even should they escape, they will bear the scars - physical and emotional - forever.










I wept and I raged.  I sat wondering what I could possibly do.

And I was blown away by the quiet heroism of the men putting their own lives at risk to give at least some of them a chance of escape.












That all then sort of melded with the conversations I have almost daily with our wonderful 97-year-old neighbour.  Until very recently, she was whizzing along, but now her short-term memory is unreliable, and you tend to go around the same conversational circles.








One of the main loops is around her having no family - largely because of the losses caused by war.  There's the story of her father who died in the Great War, aged 26, never having seen the daughter he'd only read about in a letter.

And then her step-brother (her mother remarried eighteen years later) died in World War II, aged just 18.









Neither of them ever got to discover life.

I suppose they are hovering here in the photo of the young man, as are the men from the documentary who are risking everything to give others a chance to discover life.  But so are all those others - male and female - who will never have the possibility or the freedom to explore life's journey.











The rest of us owe it to them to be fully present and to explore, discover, travel and, I think, also to speak out against injustice and wrongdoing.













If I can do nothing else, I can use my voice to speak, to bear witness, to cry for help for those lost women and girls who cannot be heard themselves.  And I can be mindful that the reason I am free to do that is at least partly thanks to all those lost young men.













If you haven't already run a mile, I do urge you to take a trip over to A Vintage Journey where you'll find lots of Tag Friday joy and inspiration from my fantastic team-mates.

I'll leave you in peace for now, and I'll see you out there soon in Craftyblogland.

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me - and there was nobody left to speak out for me.
Pastor Martin Niemöller


44 comments:

Terry said...

Allison, this is gorgeous! I love the pear on the background and the colors and layers are spectacular! Great use with the metal embellishments! Hugs!

Julia Aston said...

Goodness - I am a bit depressed from your story (how much worse to live it though!) and glad for the education as well - but then lightened by your beautiful tag - with the story behind it - love the colors and splashes of white - very lovely Alison!

Astrid Maclean said...

Oh Alison, thank you for this post!!! Let me start with the tag, - it's stunning and I love the combination of those new colours. The white stamping of the Classics stamp, white sentiment and little splats make for a fantastic contrast! The way you have embellished it is super too, a perfectly balanced piece!

As to the rest of the story, - I had not heard of the documentary (being at the other end of the globe), but just read a guardian review of it..... good on you to speak out!! The things that happen in the name of religion..... I love your rendering of your conversations with your neighbour too, how lucky for her to have you to talk too. She reminds me of my mother when she was still alive and that age....(she was born in 1911 and had many stories of the wars). Coming back to these women, yes it is more than unspeakable.... I have had the opportunity to travel widely in the Middle East, including Iran (though not Iraq), and yes, us free women in the west should speak out whenever we can!!!

Deborah Wainwright said...

Stunning tag as always Alison, love the colours. Your post really moved me. Working with vulnerable always makes me feel privileged, but when I hear about the atroseties throughout the world I sometimes want to weep. I don't understand wilful evil. I agree with you, free women of the world should always speak out and use our freedom to live the life that was intended for us with gusto and pride, warmth and kindness. Thank you so much for sharing. Hugs Debs xx

Helen said...

I didn't watch the programme, but what a life they have to look "forward" to, poor people! Keep speaking up and out!

The tag is beautiful, despite it's sad story... and I love those new colours together, what a gorgeous mix. Have a great weekend.

barbarayaya62 said...

My fav colours! Amazing tag! i love you project! BArbarayaya

craftytrog said...

Your tag is beautiful Alison, tempted by those new colours!
It's a terrible world we live in, thank goodness for the beauty in nature and art.
Hope you have a good weekend,
Alison xx

Marci said...

A beautiful tag! I have not seen that documentary, but when I see those totally covered up women, I wonder. It makes them so anonymous and who knows what it covers. I feel so very fortunate to live when and where I do.

Buttons said...

Thoroughly thought provoking words as well as a beautiful tag Alison. There have been a number of documentaries recently that definitely make you realise what we take for granted as part of our every day lives. Time to be grateful. Jenny x

Andrea Small said...

Beautiful and strong. All of it xx

mamablitger said...

Allison I'm so happy to hear somebody speak out about that terrible things going on around ISIS...it is so tragic. I cant imagine what the future will look like for these poor girls... Some of them children firced into slavery. I think we should all remember what a great life we have when we have freedom and in generel a good life.
Thank you also for sharing your lovely tag.
Hugs from Monica... Spain

Amanda said...

Fabulous tag, thought provoking narrative. We should always remember those less fortunate than ourselves and be thankful for the lives we lead.
Love
Amanda x

Lauren Hatwell said...

Oh don't get me started... I love your tag and all that it represents. Lx

Cestina said...

Yes.
xxx

Deborah said...

Your tag is a wonderful tribute, Alison, and a timely lesson for those of us who are fortunate (even if we don't always feel we are).

Inky and Quirky said...

This is why I love your blog Alison, not only beautiful art but thought provoking too...sometimes we just need to take a pause and consider people less fortunate then most out there.
Big hugs
Donna xxx

cathylynn said...

Beautiful tag with a story behind it. Yes you are artist with words and hands. Wow I'm speechless.
Huge Hugs, Cathy-Lynn

Meggymay said...

Such a moving, thought provoking post Alison. It would be easy, to let these things happening in our world pass by, but thank goodness for the folk who care and want to help in any way they can.
A really beautiful tag.
Yvonne xx

Brenda Brown said...

A gorgeous tag Alison full of beauty and promise for those who have no freedom in the greatest sense of the word. I can feel all the different emotions that were going through you and thank God for the fortunate lives we have.
huge hugs Brenda xxx

Pamellia Johnson said...

This is wonderful Alison! Such an amazing combination with the vibrant background, white stamping and gunmetal trinkets, completely captivating! happy weekend :)

Anita Houston said...

The world is so full of chaos now, and heartbreaking stories of lost lives and terrorism fill the media realm. It always hurts my heart to hear and see what is going on, and then I think how blessed I am that I live where I live, and although there is some oppression here, it is NOTHING like the oppression in other parts of the world. I will never understand the horrifying abuse that is being done all in the name of religious values. That is not what God is about. Bless those who are risking their lives to try to help. And bless you for creating an art piece to show your support for the people lost and the poor unfortunate souls being tortured. Your tag is wonderful, and the meaning behind is beautiful!

Princess Judy Palmer said...

HMmmm... gorgeous tag and I love seeing those new colors in action (even if I think that one should be named "holy smoke" instead of hickory smoke). Tough words that cry out to be heard.

Paula Cheney said...

love the background so much - what a great color combo!

Shari Trumbull said...

Alison, you've touched me with your beautiful art and your words, once again. With all of the horrors going on in this modern world, your conversations with your 97 year old neighbor smack of history repeating itself. I have a Great Uncle who fought in Europe in WWII and he's stated he sees the same thing happening again, and God help us all!
Considering you've brought your feelings into this beautiful tag, Alison, reminding us all to Discover Life, I will do just that, especially for the souls who won't get to discover life. Amen!!
Now--to be a bit lighter....Happy Friday and Happy Weekend to you, Alison! BIG XOXOs-Shari

Mary Elizabeth said...

And this, my dear friend, is the epitome of 'words and pictures'. Thank you. A huge hug to you -- Mary Elizabeth

Jennie Atkinson said...

Such a wonderful tag Alison - I love the combination of colours you have used and all the overstamping and embossing. I would agree with many of the sentiments already aired that you always bring thought provoking words to your art, sometimes sad, sometimes happy, but yes always thought provoking and a very real part of your creative process. Thank you for putting into words what never seem to be able to do. Despite the sentiments it still has a beautiful and peaceful feel to it.
Have a lovely weekend x

A Pink said...

I shed a tear as I type this - thankyou so much Alison for such a profoundly emotive story behind your tag . For me art with meaning born out of genuine emotion has so much value so your tag is truly priceless .

rachel said...

amazing tag Alison - and a very thought provoking piece of writing - wow. Big hugs rachel x

Lynn Price said...

A lovely monument to all those everywhere who are shut out of normal, comfortable ways of daily being..... thank you for giving voice to all of that sadness and pain, and in such a beautiful manner. And in addition, a stunning tag - the white embossing is particularly eye-catching against all that lovely smokey green and blue, as are the die cut words. And it looks like your ivy has recovered! xxx Lynn

Shilpa Nagaonkar said...

Beautiful tag!! Alison. I felt touched with the story

maria's knutselplezier said...

What a great colourful man's tag!!! I love it!!!

Have a nice weekend!!
MAria

Florence said...

Stunning! x

craftimamma said...

I cannot possibly visit your blog without reading every single word whether happy or sad! They are always informative and I thank you for this added bonus to seeing your gorgeous artwork. The tag is wonderful and all the more so for the story behind it. Thanks Alison!

Hugs
Lesley Xx

JackieP Neal said...

Such a moving post Alison. You brought tears to my eyes with your words and thoughts and the quote at the end. Yes, let us all remember we are free because of those who never had a chance to live. Thank you for such a poignant post. Your tag is beautiful! xo

Dorthe said...

Dear Alison, it is wonderful you spoke from your heart, a heart holding all the same thoughts I have myself,- thank you, -we are so very lucky to be here, and to be in this part of the world, and we must speak for all those suffering because of religious fanatism !!The tag you created with all this in mind is beautiful, -the lovely colours, the young man with his sad eyes, and all your beautiful use of white in stamping and writing !! Love the qoute, too, it gives so much meaning, and always will ! Hugs,Dorthe

Kirsten Alicia Sheridan said...

Very powerful words & a stunning tag.

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Although your tag came from a dark and terrible starting point Alison, you have brought it out into light and beauty, sharing a message that we can make a difference and honour the memories of those who fight and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Thank you for that and for your voice and for not being afraid.

Coco said...

Just find the time to see this tag too... So beautiful using the new Distress inks!! And I love your background, wonderful as usual Alison!
Will be back on your blog only at the end of August now. Sorry in advance since I guess I will not be able to catch-up with every friend's blog!.. Coco xxx

Corrie Herriman said...

Your story makes this fabulous tag even more wonderful !
Corrie x

Nikki Acton said...

Both the words and the pictures are wonderful. I didn't see it either but thank you for telling it - adds humility to my day - reminds me to be grateful for the things I take for granted.
Your tag is amazing - I am tempted right now - this minute to order those colours - I haven't got them! Wonderful combination and the white accents really are fabulous.
Nikki xxxxxx

Etsuko Noguchi said...

Wonderful tag, prefect the background and layers. Beautiful colours and great design, love it!! xxx

Marjie Kemper said...

What a beautiful tag, Alison! Love that background so much, and the placement of all your parts. Now I feel I need the word dies... yikes!

Sara Barker said...

Beautiful tag, with a favorite color combo. the white embossing just make this so special, as does the splattering of white. What a a powerful and moving post, Alison; we just don't realize the value of the freedoms we have, and don't express our gratitude to our military nearly enough for keeping us a free nation.

Ruth said...

Very thought provoking.....enjoyed (if that's the word)...the read. A beautiful tag with white on the new colours. Ruth x