I have to show you some of the new work which has been contributed to the project. There are two aspects of the project, the one aspect I call the diagrams. They are a direct data visualization of the data from Dr. Amar Dhand's Social Networks and Stroke Recovery Project. As the project developed, it became apparent from my postings on social media of work in progress, that there were many folks out there who wished to contribute work in honor of a family member who had suffered a stroke or other form of brain trauma. And so the stroke awareness aspect of the project was born. With it the leading cause of adult disability and affecting 795,000 people in 2014 and the numbers aren't dropping. It is time to bring awareness as getting to the hospital quickly means the difference between life and death, movement and disability. There are many folks using the motif of a crocheted mandala to raise awareness for various illnesses including lupus and depression. Both of these horrid illnesses have prersonally affected members of my family. My mom eventually died from lupus related complications. So why strokes? And why a mandala. Well, there is a long history to the mandala being about wholeness and completion and with stroke patients essentially in losing a part of their brain, they are often reduced to a shell of their former selves. Each experience is different for each patient, but the struggle to walk and talk is very real and with their brain chemistry permanently altered, many also suffer from depression. So the mandala seemed fitting. There are also the specific reasons for crocheting which I've already covered in this blog.
But without further ado, let me Introduce you to the work of Julie Shay, a St. Louis artist and extraordinary crocheter. On the day of the project's opening at Barnes Jewish Hospital, she arrived with not one but two of these huge wildly colorful mandalas to add to the project. I couldn't stitch them on the project for St. Louis, so they will travel to Chicago where they will be on display this fall.
I am hoping you will join me in this project with a contribution. Please leave me message for me to send you my personal address.