"Flood," glue, recycled paper bags, repurposed fabric, burlap and wood
Throughout my life, I have been afraid of crying because I feared that if I ever started, I would be overwhelmed by sadness and unable to stop. But now, I have come to realize that tears signal internal transformation. They are the life-giving streams in the desert that the prophet Isaiah speaks about. They clear the way for a softening and opening of the heart, for new channels of creativity and compassion.
The idea for this work began very simply with a sketch of a head streaming tears. It called to mind Jeremiah, nicknamed The Weeping Prophet, who wept for his beloved Israel. But as the sculpture came into being, it had a distinctly feminine presence calling to mind the Sorrowful Mother. As I cut and sewed the tears, I reflected on the tears recorded throughout the Bible. I thought of Rachel mourning for her massacred babies. I recalled the woman who wet Jesus' feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. And Jesus weeping at the death of his beloved friend Lazarus.
How dry we are by comparison! It is said that after World War II, the tear ducts of the world dried up. Humanity had seen unspeakable horrors, and our ability to respond with emotion seemed permanently impaired. Now tears have become almost invisible. We are ashamed of crying in public, and the only tears we see on a regular basis are those of strangers weeping before the cameras of photojournalists. To make matters worse, many artists have become afraid to make art that contains genuine emotion because it lacks the cool detachment and irony that have been in vogue. With "Flood," I prophesy the end of irony, and the flourishing of emotion once more especially in the artistic community of Seattle.
Then from the lids one tear, his only possession, like the bee's sting, slips. Slyly he palms it, and if you're not paying attention he'll swallow it. However, if you watch, he'll hand it over, cool as from underground springs and pure enough to drink. ~Elisabeth Bishop "The Man-moth"