Suffering Passes; Having Suffered Never Passes

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Suffering Passes; Having Suffered Never Passes
Oak, 3 x 15 x 15′, 2006
— Buenos Aires, Argentina, Esultura y Memoria, Maquette submission 1992
— Burlington County Community College, 2006
— Salisbury, MD, Salisbury University, 2008
— 23rd Rosen Sculpture Competition and Exhibition, Appalachia State University, 2009
— N. Charleston, SC, Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition, First Prize, 2009

One of five elements in an installation originally conceived as a memorial to the Desaparecidos in Argentina in 1992, it is a meditation on all loss.

  • Nunca Mas  (Never again)
  • Suffering Passes. Having Suffered Never Passes.
  • In living loss and rebirth enfold one another.
  • We cannot find justice for those  who are dead. We must find justice for the living and for those who are to come. —Kofi Annan
  • Together enclose one another in an embrace of Unity

The piece recognizes and focuses on the pain and sacrifices caused by political conflict, terrorism, war and other tragic losses. More than to memorialize the people who have been lost, it acknowledges the survivors’ suffering of loss, sharpened by the suddenness and immediacy of violent, unexpected death.

The sculpture is both commemorative and unifying.  It has two principle conceptual meanings and metaphors. The pieces are a metaphor for the ripping and tearing away of a sudden wrenching loss as well as the hopefulness of joining with others to find resolution.

The bench and fragments have a curving, enveloping form contrasted with some parts of the actual seating elements “missing’ — cut down to their foundations. They bring people together, recognize the unspeakable loss of the victims and give a sense of continuity of life for the survivors.

The sculpture is an interactive, participatory event. Viewers are encouraged to use it as seating, to recognize, to honor, to commemorate, the loss of lives.

In form and shape, the bench is a series of three dimensional, gestural strokes, as if from the ink of a calligraphy brush in the Japanese enso circle form. The strokes enwrap each other like an embrace and hold the viewers within them. The circle form suggests both emptiness and completion.

The curved shape of the bench brings together the viewers so that they can find strength from one another. It curves inward –to encourage interaction, among the people, to have them ‘join’ together. Places to sit among them are “missing”, cut away savagely, to represent and honor those who are not there and to acknowledge their missing voices.


Next: Contemplative Space – A Timeless Space 



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