Thursday, January 30, 2014

Save the World Bead Embroidery

I'm definitely NOT a political person, not especially well-informed about current affairs, never a protest marcher or letter-to-the-editor writer.

But, in recent years, I've been watching a lot of documentary movies, many of which address the film maker's concerns about the well-being of the world, films about water shortages, about problems with fracking, about the polar ice cap and glaciers melting, about famine and poverty, about disappearing wildlife habitat, about oil spills and coal dust, about tsunami and hurricane damages, to name a few.

An ever-thickening cloak of despair settles over me, as I become convinced that we are slowly destroying our world, and worse, that I am powerless to stop any of it. At some point, looking at all of the things going wrong, I knew, beyond doubt, that the core issue, the root of all of it, is the demand we humans place on the earth. Nothing can stop the demand, short of decreasing the population; not just curbing population growth, but actually dramatically decreasing population.

There is only one way to decrease world population: to do so, every person must voluntarily embrace this world-saving motto:
bead embroidery by Robin Atkins, world population, January 2014
Message to Citizens of the World

1 + 1 = 1
One + One = One

When every couple has only one child, the population will decrease significantly in just one generation. Demand for power, for water, for fish, for just about everything will decrease dramatically. Life will seem more precious. We will, in a single generation, improve all of the concerns we now have.

For 5 years I've been thinking about making a 1+1=1 bead embroidery. Finally, here it is. This is my Bead Journal Project piece for January, 2014. I'm starting the year by doing something, doing the one thing I know how to do that might help our beautiful world survive. I may do more of them, trying different ways to show this concept. In this one, there is a message to all citizens of the world:

Message to Citizens of the World

Our home is crumbling, burning, blowing away, and melting,
as we take and trample, and continue to take what we want
from it. In our clear heart and mind, we know the truth,
and we fear the future even as we continue to consume.

What can we do? When we sit up, pay attention, and learn,
we realize there is only one way to repair and restore our home.
For the sake of our child’s child, we must voluntarily decrease
our numbers by embracing world-wide, voluntary, one child.

Robin Atkins
January, 2014
I even have a fantasy that maybe others from around the world would join me, illustrating their concern and this solution in their own style and materials. I have started a 1+1=1 Facebook group , and encourage artists, quilters, beaders to join me. Maybe we'll have an exhibition one day, maybe it will become a quiet, yet powerful, movement. If you agree with me, I'd love to see your version of 1+1=1!

This piece is only 2.5 x 3.5 inches, and is entirely made with size 15 seed beads. My next post will be a technical one... how to bead nice, even circles. Yes, the circular pattern of blues and greens represents the world. I've learned a lot making "the world" (trial and error) that I want to share with you.