I have been working on a very difficult series for the last few months. They are extensions of my Conflict series and they are trying to capture my feelings regarding the inhumanity of ISIS and Boko Haram. Every morning I  hate to look at the newspaper to see all of horrors that are going on in the Middle East and Nigeria. And being married to a Middle East analyst means that most of our meals are spent discussing the situation. It seems so hopeless and awful.
Trying to get immersed in these  subjects I decided to do some research on these two groups. Last year I actually wrote a short piece on ISIS's branding- which has been very successful. They pretty much own the color black, and their prowess in social media has been studied for years. I made the mistake of doing a google image search since I wanted to get more of a feel of Boko Haram- and I instantly regretted my decision. The images were so brutal that I immediately closed my browser window. Still the photos of Boko Haram and their victims haunted me for days.
I have pieced two in this series- mostly black fabrics- and they indeed look ominous and threatening. I am experimenting using different kinds of fabric- I have some old Japanese handspun indigo cottons and some Chinese oxblood fabrics that really soak up the light. They are challenging to work with but the effect is quite different from what I am used to working with. I did a piece a while ago that used some of these fabrics, but this time really want to push it.
I sometimes feel guilty that I am using horrible events to influence my art. Putting my emotions down in fabric helps me. I just wish it could help the victims of their brutality.

by JudyK