Here is a late contribution from me to the #3000chairs twitter response to Nicola Davis’s poem, The Day The War Came.
She wrote the poem in response to hearing a story about “a child turning up at a school near a refugee camp and being turned away because there was no chair for her. She came back the next day with a broken chair and asked again.” The poem was also a response to the vote in the House of Commons on Monday night last week, when the government narrowly defeated a cross-party amendment to the immigration bill, tabled in the House of Lords, that would have seen the UK accept 3,000 child refugees. That’s why the hashtag is #3000chairs.
If you would like to read more about #3000chairs, look at this article, which includes Nicola’s poem.
If you want to see some of the drawings and images sent in as part of #3000 chairs, or if you want to contribute your own chair picture, look here.
By happenstance, I had drawn this sketch of one of our kitchen chairs a few weeks ago, when I started to work through the wonderful book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards (and I will share more about this in later posts).
For #3000chairs, I thought I would add the words from the well-known nursery rhyme to the sketch – words which remind me of my own safe childhood and early years of learning, and which, for me, also encapsulate the spirit of welcoming people into our homes and our lives, rather than building barriers against them.
Thanks to Dave Crane who brought #3000chairs to my notice with his beautiful contribution, which you can see at his website Improvised Comics.
The photograph at the top of this post was taken by me, in Mandela Gardens, Millennium Square, Leeds. It is of the 16foot-high bronze sculpture of welcoming, outstretched hands; its name is Both Arms. It is by the Leeds-born sculptor, Kenneth Armitage.