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Candace Compton Pappas's avatar Candace Compton Pappas

In April of 2014 I had just moved to a new house and studio in the country here in Michigan. It was at that time working in my studio, I heard the news of the kidnapping of over 300 girls from a school in Nigeria by the terrorist group Boka Haram. Trying to come to terms with the beauty of my new surroundings and the horror and scope of this kidnapping, I decided to paint a a painting that would include a bird for each girl abducted. Each day, first thing in my studio I would paint at least one bird. I also created altars on which I would I placed small relics, bones, flowers I’d find on my daily walks around our property, and light a candle on the altars for each bird painted. After 5 months I had completed a piece I titled 300+. Feeling though, that the work was not done, and missing the act of connection in painting these birds, I decided to create the piece you see here, entitled 200+ as there are still over 200 girls unaccounted for. Painting these birds has been a simple, basic, act of painting, contemplation, and offering. In the quiet of the mornings as I light my candles and work on this painting, I have imagined it to be a means to honor and hold these girls — to offer a sense of space, release, and spirit.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 2.25 inches
  • Medium: inks, acrylics on canvas
  • Width: 215 inches
  • Year created: 2015
  • Height: 75 inches