Last week, I had the opportunity to work with another group of children at a homeless shelter in the Bronx. This group, ages 5-13 was truly amazing. They have been through so much in their short lives, but are optimistic and hopeful that the future will be bright. Each of them made a piece of fiber art that will be incorporated into my installation piece Temporary Shelter. Some of their work is pictured below.
This piece, by an introspective 10-year-old, tells the story of her sadness about living in the shelter. She said, “I feel upset because I don’t like being here. I feel upset because I don’t have my own home.” She chose to create her piece using pink, purple, and blue because those colors make her think of sad moments.
Her 13-year-old brother told me that he was very angry when he first arrived at the shelter. He chose the black and yellow patterned fabric to represent this anger. But, as he started participating in the recreation program and met friends and helpful teachers, that anger turned into hope and happiness. When I asked him how he felt living in the shelter, he told me “It is kind of sad because many people might make fun of it but I don’t worry about (it) and I keep living the life to succeed.” The jumping frogs represent his “leaping to success” and the hearts and flowers are for his mother who he loves dearly and who helps him through these tough times.
This piece, by a beautiful 9-year-old, tells the story of her life. She told me about the sadness (represented by the blue square), fear (shown by the black triangle), and nervousness (purple) she felt when her father was struggling to provide for them and she didn’t know Now that she is at the shelter, she wishes for her own home, but feels more secure and happy – like the red heart shaped balloon taking off.
I had a wonderful time working with these young artists and can’t wait to meet more amazing people as I continue this project.