Behind the Making of the Silhouette of Afghanistan Wall Hanging

So many feelings. Many times I can't turn my feelings into words, definitely not the appropriate words. 

Art is a refuge for me. It helps me dwell in places that I feel I need to be in, giving me something to focus on while I process in my heart what my words can't articulate. I want to share a piece that I lingered in front of these past few weeks. It's a silhouette of Afghanistan done in a deep red cord

front view of map

Fiber art is forgiving as long as you don't cut the cord too short. I remade this piece so many times. I even "finished" the piece and went back in and made another huge change. I didn't know how I wanted to represent this piece of land. I still don't know. 

I was sure that I wanted to knot the entire piece of land. Another option was to knot the negative space and leave just the land completely unknotted. By knotting the land, it gave me the chance to focus on every square knot of land, the people there, the young mothers like me there, the children like mine there, and the events taking place there. 

side view of macrame map

I was also sure that I wanted to use red cord. It reminds me of the blood of Jesus Christ, the innocent son of God who willingly died as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. His blood makes it possible for anyone who believes in Christ to become a child of God. Yeshua is the only hope I have in anything anymore. 

zoomed in front view of map

I write and share this to encourage those who are feeling many things right now and are searching for ways to process them when talking hasn't been helping.

If anyone wants to try my process, I'll share more on what I did and how I did it. I found a map image and copied it into excel. From there I played around until each cell was the size of a piece of paper. Then I scaled it to be the desired size and printed it. I taped the printed pages together and hung it directly behind my cord using a clothes hanger. While creating, I listened to this song over and over again. I also had my Holy Bible app reading scripture to me (I stayed in Psalms). And I prayed over every square knot. 

paper map on clothes hanger

Finally, I want to share this verse that brings me solace:

"The LORD is king! Let the earth rejoice! Let the farthest coastland be glad. Dark clouds surround him. Righteousness and justice are the foundations of his throne." Psalms 97:1-2 (NLT)

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A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years approached him from behind and touched the tzitzit on his robe. For she said to herself, “If I can only touch his robe, I will be healed.” Yeshua turned, saw her and said, “Courage, daughter! Your trust has healed you.” And she was instantly healed.

Matthew 9:20-22 (CJB)