Lamentations

All the Lamentations explore notions of pietà in the after­math of 9/11 and the ensu­ing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These draw­ings ritu­al­ize the act of mourn­ing for the loss of life, of inno­cence, of trust, and even mental health through the symbolic use of mate­ri­als and repet­i­tive use of words. Six foot rolls of Okawara unfurl to reveal multi-figure compo­si­tions in rela­tion­ship to flags, Islamic prayer carpet motifs, and quotes from popu­lar songs. Lyrics by Courtney Love, Linkin Park, Chemical Brothers and others are repeated like suppli­ca­tions in ancient prayer forms. The Mourning Embroideries subli­mate sorrow through the economic use of inti­mate phys­i­cal mate­ri­als– hair and tears on mili­tary netting. Small clus­ters of hair define soldiers and join single strands to create explo­sive debris, dust clouds, and lyrics. No matter how full the compo­si­tion, the embroi­dered contours are prac­ti­cally invis­i­ble from a distance– a visual paral­lel to private yet commu­nal sorrow. Pure, simple, restrained.