"Not one more"
This top is an infographic that records the gunshot victims either wounded (pink) or killed (red) in school shootings from January 2014 to February 2018. Organized by month, there is a total of 438 hearts here. 138 of them are red. That is 138 lives cut short due to gun violence in schools.
In the wake of Parkland, the country watched students and families cry out in heartache and demand change. I cried with them. Another mass shooting. More horrific imagery flooding social media and the news. I've cried over similar events before. This time, however, my tears motivated me to research. I stumbled upon a chart in the New York Times, and suddenly became inspired to create an infographic of my own. Something that would function as a chart, but also could conjure emotion. Something deceptively sweet, which would eventually reveal its seriousness. A one-of-a-kind piece, whose process of making would turn out to be a way for me to reflect and commemorate these victims.
Over the course of two weeks, I knit this piece using the slow and meticulous process of intarsia. One row at a time, every yarn was laid over the needles of the knitting machine to methodically build the desired imagery. It's a lot like drawing with yarn. At any given moment, there were 23 to 45 yarns being intertwined to complete a single row of this pattern. It certainly isn't the fastest way to knit, but it's the most deliberate. It allowed me the time and attention to individually craft each heart, honoring and reflecting on the person it represents. It really made me experience the magnitude of "438."
As many of you know, since February, we have more hearts to add to this chart. So now I ask, as Scott Pappalardo did, “Is the right to own this weapon more important than someone’s life?" I say no. Not one more.
For more information and statistics of gun violence, feel free to check out the resources over at Everytown.org.
To see more about my process of making this piece, check out my highlights on Instagram.