migratory patterns :: part two

fukushima daiichi installed
2012  walter maciel gallery,  4 drawings plus crochet doily key of radiation emissions, dimensions variable

here is the 2nd half of my show, migratory patterns at walter maciel gallery. in these series i wanted to explore the migration of things outside of myself. i wanted to still relate it to my world view and personal experience, though, so i decided to concentrate on 2 things that pertain to my japanese heritage.

above you see 4 depictions of the migration of radiation from the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant after the earthquake/tsunami on march 11,  2011. these maps depict readings in the surrounding areas. the little bits of text highlight surrounding cities. my mom is actually from an area of japan very close to this region. after the earthquake we were quite worried about her brother and sister who still live there.

clearly this nuclear disaster is something that the japanese [and us] will have to deal with for many years to come... like chernobyl. but as i've done in the past i wanted to make something awful and scary into something mysterious and perhaps even beautiful.

march 16 2011
march 16, 2011,  2012,   embroidery and graphite on duralar, 16 x 16 inches framed
this is 5 days after. if you look closely there's 5 hashmarks in the lower right. the colors and the length of stitch indicate the amount of radiation that was measured.

april 11, 2011
april  11, 2011, 2012,  embroidery and graphite on duralar, 16 x 16 inches framed
this is a month after.

september 11, 2011
september 11, 2011 2012, embroidery and graphite on duralar, 16 x 16 inches framed
this is 6 months after. the sept. 11 date significance is not lost on me.

march 12, 2012
march 12, 2012, 2012, embroidery and graphite on duralar, 16 x 16 inches framed
this is one year after. i think it's amazing to see the changes. if you actually study the readings they really change from day to day. i was shocked that one year later there is still THIS MUCH radiation detected.

fukushima daichii :: crochet chart lookdown
fukushima daiichi, doily graph, detail, 2012, installed walter maciel gallery
so the doilies to the left of the framed work give you the key to what the colored stitches mean in terms of radiation exposure. HERE you'll find some scientific data that shows you that even the green -- which you might think is "safe" at 0-2, and IS in comparison to the red which is 100+ -- is not something that you want to be exposed to.

fukushima daiichi installed :: threadballs
detail of thread balls 

i'm sort of in love with attaching the thread balls to the doilies and bringing them to the floor. i happened upon this completely by accident in fleeting beauty... and was waiting for another chance to utilize it. and i'm going to do it again for  a piece i'm just about to start. the implication of these doilies sort of creating themselves - and activating the floor - is something that is just too exciting for me to quit now.

ganbatte ne
gambatte ne, 2012, graphite, acrylic, colored pencil, felt, pins, machine stitching on paper and duralar, 20 ½ x 28 ¼ inches framed
then i did 3 pieces that depict fu-go balloon bombs. used by japan in WWII - it was their attempt to attack the US mainland. the above piece charts the jet streams that brought the balloons over to us, and also charts the mileage between the launching areas in japan and the 5 places in the US where the bombs landed whole and complete.

the US press and government did an AMAZING job covering up any news of the fu-go. because the japanese were unable to ascertain if any of the balloons were effective or landing they gave up on the project after only 6 months. had they continued to launch balloons, they might have generated a somewhat successful campaign.

may 5, 1945
may 5, 1945, 2012, graphite, acrylic, felt, pins, machine stitching on paper and duralar12 ½ x 16 ½ inches framed
in this piece i memorialize the only lives lost to fu-go. 6 lives were lost on may 5, 1945 when a priest and his wife were taking 5 children on a picnic in gearhardt mountain in oregon [indicated on a map in the lower right]. the kids discovered an intact bomb and it blew up - killing everyone but the priest.

may 5,1945 :: detail
detail of balloon
mapping of fu-go landings
mapping of fu-go landings,  2012 , embroidery on felt,  54 x 77 inches
and in this piece i mark the over 200 pieces of balloon bombs that were discovered in the lower 48 [there were parts found in canada, alaska and mexico as well]. i used a dotted red line - 1. because in old WWII books when they depict bomb targets they often use a dotted line which just immediately reminds me of stitching. and 2. because it imitates the japanese flag.

this piece was a bit of a cray thing for me to engineer. it was a lot of trial and error. i wanted it to be a more like a quilt [warmth/protection] and out of felt [think beuys and army/war = felt]. but of course i didn't have any patterns to follow. i wanted the states w/ bomb pieces to be slightly differentiated. 

i literally sat on my floor and just cut out states and pieced them together. originally i thought that i could just stitch the outlines of the empty states on the background [and i knew i wanted a funky pieced askew background from the beginning]. but when i did that it looked stupid. so after i spent all the time stitching those states i had to restitch them with applique states to get the above effect. the sort of blended, but not really effect. [that is the technical term for it i think]. 

mapping of fu-go landings :: top right detail
the trickiest part was making the states that met at a seam line keep that seam [so that it still looked funky and pieced]. but finally - after many struggles and a last minute hectic ordering of more felt in a certain color [i had to order it from 2 sources in order to get the color scheme right] - it was complete !

i sort of want to do other mappings of the US now since i know how to do it... heh heh. 

so there you have it... my show. you can see the all the photos on flickr - eventually i'll add them to my website. if you get to see the show in person i would love to know what you think ! till next time ....


ziazia said…
yep, "sort of blended, but not really effect" IS the technical term, i use it all the time.

and can i say that i love that you talk about your work, it's so clear and direct because sometimes art is such a mystery to people, the meaning from the artist, i mean.
congratulations, again, i think this is now my favorite work of yours.
Anonymous said…
THANK YOU from me, too, about the time you took to explain the elements of this exhibition in such detail. It really helps me to understand the pieces I saw when I was there. It also helps me appreciate ALL THE WORK that you put into producing these amazing and creative works. The map, for example, was fascinating to see. I am pleased you found a way to depict the radiation issues with Fukushima in this manner. The colors, etc make a much powerful impact than simply talking about it.
Jennifer said…
Your work is so beautiful.
betsy said…
lisa. i am completely blown away by your work in this show. and i can't tell you how much i wish i could spend hours studying it in person. it is beautiful and heartbreaking. the depth and thoughtfulness you bring to your work is incredibly inspiring. xo
Hayley said…
Lisa- the balloon piece took my breath away. And reading about it broke my heart. The threaded balloon beautifully captures the tragedy of May 5th. I wish I were able to see the show in person; so close but so far.
Jennifer said…
Sadly, I haven't made much since then, besides some quilts. My life took a crazy turn when I graduated and married into the military. Going on my 7th move in 4 years hasn't been good to my art making, but I just quit my job and we are moving to San Diego. I have grand plans to start drawing again and incorporating some of our adventures into it.
Jan Halvarson said…
Wow, I never knew how much the radiation had gone, and never heard anything about that poor family in 1945 with those balloons. your work is so beautiful - and sort of bitter sweet with the thoughts of the tragedy - i love how it helps bring these matters to light.
Lari Washburn said…
The amount of research! Glad to get part 2. Really wonderful. So much to think about here.
shari said…
really such a stunning body of work. i'd love a closer peek. wish california wasn't on the other side of the country! xo
Sophia said…
Love love love the work Lisa. "activating the floor.." love that too.
Kathryn said…
Wow, part II is even more amazing than part I. All of it incredible!! Congrats on the show. I had NO idea about the balloon bombs the Japanese dropped on us. Amazing what the media is capable of. We're going to have to talk about the applique map, I'm doing a foreclosure quilt now that has all these wonky block patterns (that's what I get when I offer to do a commission!) and it's driving me crazy!!
annamaria said…
Beautiful work Lisa! And sad, thoughtful, and thought provoking.
Congratulations and thank you for creating such amazing work:)
Chase Clark said…
As always, your work is beautiful and so amazing! Love it.
annamaria said…
Beautiful work Lisa! And sad, thoughtful, and thought provoking.
Congratulations and thank you for creating such amazing work:)
lisa! it is such beautiful work. i especially love the map.
Gracia said…
Congratulations, Lisa. I love the floor anchor, and reading about how you see your work and the things you put into it, stitch by stitch. Your 'may 5, 1945' piece is haunting.

g xo
bugheart said…
i am awed.
my favorite yet...
the radiation...

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