One of the many powerful works you can see at the Creative Pinellas Arts Annual is Branches, by Akiko Kotani.
This work was created in 1996 but has never been on display, until now. You can read Akiko’s thoughts on how Branches was created – and how it’s suddenly become very timely.
Size: 48” h X 136” w (4 panels)
Medium: Wool over linen tapestry
There are times when my work’s meaning precedes my understanding of it. Branches is such a work.
When conceived, the images were so prominent in my imagination that I almost felt I had no control over them. They oddly flowed from my imaginative field and demanded to be woven into a tapestry form.
During the creative process, the overwhelming feeling was that of a desolate landscape stripped of flora and fauna. The resulting branches are depicted on a barren land left without leaves.
While executing this work, I could not locate where these images were coming from. In hindsight, I now see it clearly. They prefigured the stark American landscape of today – our Covid-19 pandemic out of control, our destructive fires out of control, the outbreaks of unrest in our central cities. What finally emerges is a figure without a head.
This work has remained in my archives since 1996 and is being shown for the first time in this exhibition.