Somewhere in my stored files, I still have a magazine article about Center/Gallery, a women artists group that we were both a part of back then. I was a recent art school graduate, still struggling to figure out what to paint. Hunter, however, was already creating politically and socially conscious art from the stream of events happening in the country that struck a chord within her.
Over the years, her art has addressed injustices, war, patriotism, and corporate power, and has taken on the morés of the Old South, the tobacco companies, First Amendment rights, and the presidency of George W. Bush, to name just a few issues that have prompted Hunter's creative output. Often, her work is created from junk, or "found objects"--like the 44,000 cigarette butts she collected for her installation called "Ground Cover/Cover-Up."
Her most recent project, "A Chronicle in Cranes, the Finale" has been fabricated from the pages of The New York Times. Hunter began making origami cranes from the front page of the New York Times on January 20, 2005, the day George W. Bush was inaugurated for his second term, and has continued to do so until January 20, 2009, when Bush's term ended.
Says Hunter, "I call the cranes 'chronicling cranes' because it is four years of newspapers, four years of news." In one wing of each crane, she tucks in the day's editorials. In the other, she slides in the day's list of war casualties. Sometimes she writes on the wing a date or event of significance to her or her family.
Like all of Hunter's work, her intention is to raise the viewer's consciousness. The cranes are for sale. Buyers are asked to choose one with a date that holds personal significance and to take on the responsibility of learning what happened in the world on that date.
According to legend, it is believed that if one folds a thousand paper cranes, the gods will fulfill your heart’s desire. Over the past 4 years Hunter has folded 1,461 cranes, and as she states, "my heart’s desire is that each crane will carry a hope and a promise. Each of us has to give something of ourselves to make the world a better place, and each of us can start at home."
The final event of The Chronicle of Cranes will take place this Sunday, March 22, in Chapel Hill, NC.
For more information, visit Hunter's website: http://www.hunterlevinsohn.com/index.html. Or Google Hunter's name. There are a lot of interesting articles about her work.
Have a good day. See you next week.
Artwork and image © Hunter Levinsohn. Used with permission.
Text 2009 ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.