As I was leaving for work last week, I saw this beautiful strand of origami cranes floating in a tree. I pass McGolrick Park in Greenpoint daily, but this bright morning was different. The sun was streaming through the colorful strands, and a gentle breeze gave them movement. Luckily, I had my camera in my coat pocket (as I sometimes do) and took advantage of this special moment. I thought for sure that by day's end, the Parks Department or the elements would have ruined this impromptu work of art but they remain. I glanced downward and saw a cluster of votive candles was left directly under it. I assumed it was some local group's response to the tragedy in Japan. After doing a little sleuthing on the internet, I was somewhat right and found that there's more to the story....
The project was created by local musician and songstress, Niabi. It started as a way to keep idle hands busy and combat the endless winter. An ancient Japanese legend states that the person who folds a thousand paper cranes will be granted a wish by the mystical creature. Following the legend, the simple act of folding paper has evolved into something more for the artist in light of Japan's crisis:
"I want to give my wish away to someone who needs it more than I do.
In short, it is my prayer for peace."
In the same week, I was walking through another section of Greenpoint and found this tiny red crane above. I also found a stash of origami paper in my own art studio. The crane's symblic imagery even appears as a motif on the paper. I don't know how to make anything from it, but I admire its patterns and colors - and all of the little paper animals that seem to be cropping up around my section of Brooklyn lately too.