- 13.5 in. x 8 in. x 6 in.
I sculpted 9-1-1 on the day after the terrorists attacked my country on September 11, 2001. I worked furiously all day long, listening to the news in the background as the search for survivors continued. For so long, horrible images ran on the TV that only emphasized the images of disturbing, small details that were in my head. How horrible it must have been inside of the building to entice one to jump to a different horrible death?
I did not mean to keep at it for such a concentrated time, but sculpting was a kind of therapy for me, in my helplessness. 9-1-1 expresses some of my anguish for people I did not know and my sorrow for a world that could know such hatred and disregard for the miracles of life. The ashes from the collapse of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York City that cover the figure also represent the pain of others. This pain covers us, minimizing the difference in our looks and cultural backgrounds, and allows us the opportunity to feel empathy.
9-1-1 (pronounced "nine-one-one", the number to call for emergency assistance, as well as the date of the human atrocity) is an open edition, meaning I have not limited the number of castings that may be made of this bronze sculpture.
The Stolen Plaster Sculpture:
The plaster version of this sculpture was picked up from my husband in our home in Cedar Creek, Texas, by a Canadian woman. She said her sister had died in the towers and she was creating a traveling exhibit of therapeutic art to end up in NYC by the next anniversary of 11 September. She found my piece on my site. After that, I did not hear from her for a very long time. She later wrote me that she had no idea what had happened but all of the art for her "Tour of Souls" had been stolen from a storage unit, but she knew not exactly when. And that was it.
Where is Empathy? Where is Peace?
(More photos below)
9-13-2001 Artist's Statement:
What kind of lives must a group of people have in order to decide that THIS was a good thing to do? I did not know what to do. Feeling completely helpless, I decided to immerse myself in my work. Yesterday morning, I started to sculpt my feelings in wax.
The images on this page are of this work, still in-progress. The sculpture is based off of a sketch I made on 9-11-01. I was shocked to see many of us going about our day - almost as if we did not know of these atrocities. But I was doing it too, for lack of a better idea.
Ironically, if I had not been on my way into town (Austin) for a seminar on getting publicity for visual arts, I would not have known about this until much, much later. I heard the news on KGSR radio as I drove to the Austin Lyric Opera building. (After hearing the DJ state that someone just flew into the first twin tower, my first thought was, "That's not funny." Then almost simultaneously I realized the DJ was not joking. The horror was just beginning.)
Any other day of the week, I would have been home alone in the woods in southwest Bastrop County. After walking with my dog, Zac, I would have put on my dust mask, goggles, and ear protection, and gone straight out to carve some stone - out of touch with the rest of the world for hours. I am not sure why I felt the need to share this with you. However, if any of you have created art as therapy as well, please feel free to share it or your stories with me.
The Original Wax Sculpture:
What Will We Do Now?
18 September 2001
I don't know the answer to that question. What I do know is that the world is watching us. They want to see how we respond. It is SO IMPORTANT that whatever we choose to do, we do it with honor, dignity, and strength. We will defend our citizens. But we cannot give up our system of justice just because of the enormity of the crime.
How did we deal with the Oklahoma City bombing? We kept to our laws and brought the guilty to trial. Some of the differences in the plane hijacking attacks are that those responsible are smarter, sneakier, and they are willing to die for their beliefs. It will be harder to find them and prove their guilt. But it must be done according to our laws.
Just a thought: Was not World War I called "the war to end all wars"? We now have the luxury of hindsight to know that it was not so. We need to look at the reality that no matter how massive a fight, it never seems to end the violence. Let's look at some other (nonviolent, but not passive) options and try another way this time.