I Bleed Red
When I was a child my parents took my brother and I to Armenia in hopes of educating us about heritage. There, I witnessed a way of life that made sense to me: one driven by creativity, community, and resourcefulness. Everyone in the village of Aghdsk had their specialty, and our ancestral land was ready to provide the materials necessary. Deep red Armenian bole was ground and wedged into clay, to create everything from daily utilized tableware to intricate monuments. Wool, rug weaving, and looming not only clothed us, but also preserved our culture. This was my introduction to these mediums and was the first time I was able to express myself through the process of making tangible art. I found myself both entrenched and inspired by the people and art I was surrounded by. And inevitably, left more connected to my Armenian heritage.
These are a few selected works from a collage book I created as a tribute to the untold narrative of Armenian women, who played an integral role in preserving the culture and traditions I hold so close to my heart. I used images from the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and the War in Artsakh to point to the most prominent adversities and traumas these women had the strength to prevail through. I use the familiar symbolism of a pomegranate, which signifies abundance, fertility, and hope in Armenian mythology, throughout the collection. This can be seen on the cover, where the phrase “I bleed red” is written in it’s nectar, and more prominently displayed as a heart on the final page, tying the whole thing together.
For information about the ongoing situation in Artsakh and for organizations to support, follow Kooyrigs on their social media, and visit their website. They have an incredibly powerful mission to educate, provide resources for, and amplify voices within the global Armenian community:
Download "I Bleed Red" Collage Book: