Creating a mixed media journal entry to capture the essence of my experience inside a so-called detention center for immigrant women and children seeking asylum helped me reflect and debrief and celebrate some of the joys of the experience. I chose a previously begun page with the title "Life Above the Ordinary" because that aptly expresses how I feel about the privilege of doing art as a ministry of presence for incarcerated women and children.
|Softening the lines of a watercolor crayon.|
The pretty papers represent the women & children. The background is difficult to see but it's a stencil of the USA with white gesso and represents the diverse places across the USA where these women have family members waiting for them. I used bright colors to symbolize hope for the future. I had done art with the women and children several times and then one day making earrings in the morning and bracelets in the afternoon. The I used beads to make the leaves on the flowers as a reminder of the joy experienced with the women.
|A 3-year-old helps his mother make a braided bead bracelet. Tenderness and patience abound.|
|The women gained personal agency by choosing the colors and designing the style of earring they desired.|
|A little girl told me it was her birthday: she is 9. Her mother made her a pink pair of earrings in the afternoon, and she helped her mother make a pink and purple bracelet in the afternoon. Two beautiful birthday presents inside locked walls.|