Helix Project, California

April 2005

The California state project involved preschool children and families in Japantown, who made paintings and drawings on rice paper, and former internees of Japanese WWII internment camps and their relatives, returing to the Manzanar camp on their annual pilgrimage, who made paintings and drawings based on their memories of the camps.

With Connecticut airplane builder Mark Grusauski, Ellen then created a 20-foot-tall sculpture out of Makrolon in Mark’s hangar, and collaged the drawings and painting onto the surface of the large, translucent sculpture—a DNA double helix symbolizing diversity and honor for the Japanese Americans interned in the camps.