NOTES FROM LAP PARTICIPANTS


"The Love Armor Project is outstanding and far exceeded all of my (high) expectations. I applaud the hard work, creativity, and integrity you showed in every aspect of the exhibition from inception to realization."
Cyndi Conn, CCA Visual Art Director

"I want to say that I was overwhelmed with the deepest feelings while covering this event on Sept. 11, on the departure of the humvee. I had tears running down my face making it difficult to see through the viewfinder. The Love that the Rabbi expressed was the space that warmed everyone's hearts, and then you will want to see what I saw through the camera! The images of the 4 military personnel handling, tweaking, and taking so much care placing the cozy on the aluminum frame, was so touching, so much, in fact, that I was overwhelmed with the love and compassion of not only of all that were in the gallery, but all the others "outside,", everyone in the military who have gave all of themselves to their commitment and who have contributed to this dreadful war, and all the families that have been affected, and all of us who have the war in our collective consciousness. One would usually say that he or she had "lost" it, when overcome with such compassion, and sobbing, but it was the opposite, I was "connected" and felt the true Self that all of us want to become intimate with. This, my dear, is the goal of all great Art…it is "we" who are the ultimate medium, and all other Art should just be "guideposts" or "shortcuts" to the deeper regions of our hearts. I know that deep in your vision, and in your heart when you conceived this project, this was the outcome that you desired."
Grant Taylor

"As the threads tighten between my fingers sewing the Love Armor, I think if only we could stitch together the soldiers arms that have been shredded by IEDS � the Iraqi lives blown apart by waking up in 5 years of the hell realms of warfare." "Knitters making the world a better place one stitch at a time."
AM DaSilva

"They just wanted to recognize the soldiers. It's not whether the war is positive or negative; it's the soldiers themselves they want to show support to. "
SFC Mark Weingates

"I am a person that internalizes international woes. I can't live my life in some comfortable place: I have to reach out to people. Knitting comes from a maternal instinct. It's a source of caring and compassion. When I divided the life-size templates into patterns, I felt like I was fracturing the surface like so many fractured lives. It felt important to me to have many hands and many hearts involved with this project."
Shirley Klinghoffer

"I think swaddling something that is so hard and aggressive is a good start at getting people to look at something differently. In knitting, everybody speaks the same language. Everybody tells their story while quietly working. And I love hearing people's stories."
Sarah Hewitt

"I, of course talked about the Love Armor project to anyone who would listen. I shared my knitted piece with a few of the knitters and in talking about my less than perfect hand made piece, I realized that in the past I would have worn myself out trying to get every stitch to match every other stitch. I have matured and my depth of feeling has grown to the point that makes me accept that life is filled with imperfections and the war is less than perfect and the service people are coming home to us with "holes" in their lives, so my piece with it unevenness is a reflection of our lives and our world and theirs. I therefore am knitting my piece of the "cozy" with it's flaws as a reflection of the realities of life. I thank you all for the opportunity to share my flaws with you as we are attempting to heal a small piece of the world�stitch by stitch."
Ruth Kreisman

"I first heard about a political group art project from a friend of mine Cynthia, and suddenly found myself invited by Shirley Klinghoffer to a planning meeting about knitting a huge blanket for a military Humvee. Actually Shirley had already done a tremendous job in cutting out in paper the blueprints for each individual part of the Humvee which had to be knitted in order to create a form of cozy for that car after sewing all the pieces together. It turned out that she had selected a cotton cord in off-white which was quite thick and strong. Thinking that I am a good knitter I selected a big part of the blueprint, almost half of the roof of the cabin. I had bought some big, heavy knitting needles and immediately began making the first 80 or so stitches for the first row of the portion. After only a few stitches my fingers began hurting and soon the skin showed signs of irritation. In the meantime I was thinking "Wait a minute � this is meant to be a woman's project as a protest against the War in Iraq!" Working with steel-like yarn is almost like making a protective cover for a war machine � and in white too- the color of peace! So I began t o protest. This yarn should be soft and fragile and in blood-red, or if in white, it should at least be splashed in blood. And also this is expensive cotton yarn � who is going to pay for it? Show those bastards out there who like wars and make huge profits from them what we think of their war toys! Needless to say, it took Shirley several chats with me over coffee to convince me to buy a strong circular knitting needle and to contribute to the purchase of this particular yarn which she explained to me was the only one strong enough for the shape that we needed. She and Sarah had already tried other yarns which turned out not to be appropriate. As to the bloodstains on the finished cozy � yes they are there- from my fingers � but I was able to wash them out with cold water."
Eliza Schmid

"Shortly after arriving in Santa Fe from New York City, I found myself sitting in the kitchen at Salon Mar Graff knitting. Madelin Coit saw me working and said, "Have I got a project for you!" Shortly after, I met Shirley and Sarah and got involved in the project. Most of the pieces were assigned, but Shirley explained what she needed was a finisher. Someone to make some pieces bigger, make some pieces smaller, and alter some pieces to be different shapes. That's what I have always done for people. I like being the one to bring it together."
Bernice Pearl

"I am so moved, proud and honored to have been asked to participate on the Love Armor installation. Although it was a bit of a challenge getting started, once the pattern was set it was easy. Thinking about the purpose of Love Armor and our soldiers in Iraq and other unfriendly territories, made me reflect on how fortunate we are to be in this country, safe in our homes and free to go, do and say whatever we please. No matter where I went or with whom I asked for help, they were in awe of this project. I felt privileged to be a part of something so very unique, innovative and purposeful, making people aware of what the project was about and the enormity of the challenge in putting it together. I am very excited about seeing the Love Armor come together. Love and Peace."
Jo-Ann Rauch

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