Loosely inspired by John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “bed in”, A Bed for Peace is a monument dedicated to peace from genocide. The initial idea behind it is a play on words, a garden bed or a flower bed because of the flowers used to represent only a small number of genocides that have occurred throughout human history. While I have only presented a simple layout of the design for A Bed for Peace I am truly inspired as an art student to one day see the creation of this monument.
The bed will be a full or double size bed which would be fifty four inches by seventy four on a simple wooden bed frame with a head board and a foot board. The foot board will have a metal plaque inscribed with the definition of what a genocide is:
Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
- Killing members of thegroup;
- Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of thegroup;
- Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring aboutits physical destruction in whole or inpart;
- Imposing measures intended to prevent births within thegroup;
- Forcibly transferring children of the group to another
This definition I obtained from the United Nations website on Genocide Prevention. The headboard will have “A Bed for Peace” carved into the front side, while the back will also have a metal plaque containing statistics about the genocides represented within the monument.
Armenian Genocide- 1915 – 1922, About 1.5 million
Holocaust- 1941 – 1945, About 11 million
Cambodian Genocide- 1975 – 1977, About 2 million
Bosnian Genocide- 1992 – 1995, About 200,000
Rwanda- 1994, About 800,000
Rohingya-2017– Current minimum is10,000
Indigenous People have been included in this monument due to the fact that not nearlyenough people acknowledge the genocides committed againstthem.
The bed will be made with plain white sheets and attached to the top flat sheet will be the flowers that will make up the flower bed. Each flower or plant has been carefully selected in a way to best represent each genocide with care. I have not come to a final decision on what material the flowers should be constructed of, but some materials that are possible would be cloth, felt, paper, or even aluminum or tin. The flowers would be mixed together among thesheet completely covering the bed. I have chosen the Forget-me-nots to represent the Armenian genocide because that flower is the symbol/logo dedicated to the Armenian Genocide centennial. A white rose symbolizes the Holocaust because it was also the name of a resistance group lead mostly by college students during the Holocaust and World War II. The Rumdul is the national flower of Cambodia, and the Golden Lily is the national flower of Bosnia. While Rwanda does not have a national flower they do have an abundance of natural flora and so I chose the Egyptian star cluster which grows all over Africa naturally. For the Rohingya people I chose the Plumeria or Frangipani flower which grows in a number of different places world wide, however upon researching the flower much of its cultural symbolism near Myanmar is related to cemeteries and ghosts. Lastly the herb Sage will be visible amongst all of the colorful flora as a representation of the Indigenous People because sage is a sacred plant which many believe has cleansing and healing properties when dried and burned. We give flowers to those we love, to those who are sick, and to those who have died. A majority of flowers have their own significant and deep symbolism and thats what I am trying to show with A Bed forPeace
A Bed for Peacewill be similar to an art installation in that I can see it being shown in a number of different venues such as a gallery or a botanical garden or even a city park. I decided that A Bed for Peace should be something that can be easily transported so that it can reach as many people as possible. This went against my very first idea of A Bed for Peace, which was going to be a literal garden bed of hundreds and thousands of flowers to represent the genocides listed.
While this initial idea would have been beautiful sight it had several flaws that made it impractical such as the care and maintenance of the flowers involved, the space needed to plant all of the flowers, and the risk of invasive species for where ever this original idea would have existed. Upon furthering the idea I considered a greenhouse enclosure to act as a sort of bed canopy over a garden bed dug into a mattress/bed, however this seemed impractical because not all of these plants would grow cohesively together in a flower bed. So it finally dawned on me to create the flowers on the bed out of an inorganic material so that they would exist peacefully together forever.
Even though my original intention was to have a living monument I believe the impact behind the current design for A Bed for Peace will still have a profound significance. I can envision it moving from one botanical garden to a museum to another botanical garden to a park and so on. I can see A Bed for Peace existing in all of these peaceful places giving those there something to think about. While the act of genocide is an ugly stain upon humanity I want to A Bed for Peace to represent those we’ve lost in a beautiful and peaceful way, while educating the viewers with short statistical facts.
Savannah L. Haid has an Associates of Applied Science of Graphic Design from Tidewater Community College, and is currently working on her Bachelor’s in Drawing and Design. She is a sensitive soul who enjoys creating, reading, binge watching and taking care of her fur babies. She is just trying to do her best to navigate her way through adulthood, college, and homeownership at the overwhelming age of 24.