The challenge was to read a book and create something inspired by it. The book is "The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow" by Rita Leganski. That was the easy part! This beautiful book takes place in New Orleans in the 1950's. It centers on a child who never makes a sound, but has incredible (even magical) hearing. His remarkable gift of listening promises redemption to those who love him: his young widowed mother, grandmothers, deceased father, and more. With the help of a Creole housekeeper with her own special gifts, the boy leads his loved ones to the key to long-buried mysteries and helps bring peace to their angst.
I loved the book. I love magical realism, and I love Leganski's beautiful use of language. I love the layers of symbolism, and the interaction between different kinds of faith. The book was full of colors, symbols, and emotions, so the hardest part of the challenge was to narrow down my list of ideas to something concrete.
In the end, I made a twisted base of purple, green, and gold to represent the New Orleans locale and flavor of the story. Upon that base, I created a body of branch-fringe to represent the Hoo-Doo "root work" done by the Creole woman. The roots are studded with leaves, hearts, pearls, 7 tears, and a loving hand working its magic.
I always like to name my creations, so this one is called "Root Work."