Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I am very touched today by Abigail Doan's blog. http://www.abigaildoan.blogspot.com

There is an image of a large grouping of knitted hats that her mother and friends knitted as helmet liners for soldiers in Afghanistan. Each helmet liner looks like a lovingly knit hat for a tiny child. They are knitted by someone caring enough to protect a soldier's head from the cold.

Each one of my babies has grown into manhood. Each is now old enough to go to war. Each one had been knitted a hat to wear when tiny. My children and I are pacifist and only go to war against unjust policy and for social justice. I know that many other mothers are dealing with their child's decision to sign up and go to war.

I have been surrounded by soldiers most of my life. My father fought in Korea, my father-in-law in the British Army in the second world war. My Great Uncle was a decorated fighter pilot. Another was a General in the American Navy and was honoured by having a military facility named after him. My grandfather's brother died from the effects of mustard gas in France. He was only eighteen.

Each one of them, to a man, told me never to send my children to war and to shoot them in the foot if they chose to go. Each one signed up as a teenager and were caught up in the glorious propaganda that surrounded the actions. Each paid a terrible toll. Each one carried guilt and had some level of post traumatic shock.

During the Vietnam war I worked as a part of a little group of people who helped provide shelter and money to people who had decided not to take part. They came to Canada to find safety and most stayed and have contributed greatly to our Canadian quality of life.

There are many mothers who have lost their children in Afghanistan. Most of them are civilian.
Their children also were made hats to protect them from the cold.

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