Well, here goes! Welcome to my first proper blog! After a year or more of working on getting this website up and together (thank you Mike for all your patience and immense help!) I’m so looking forward to putting my energy into creating with clay again.
To help me develop fresh ideas of ‘hugs’ (embrace sculptures) to create in this coming season, I’d like to share some thoughts with you about ‘liberation’ and a brief reflection on two sculptures of mine.
Having watched the very moving commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz earlier this year, I have been pondering a lot on the word ‘liberation’ and asking myself “What does ‘to be liberated’ really mean?”
Thousands of innocent prisoners were ‘ liberated’ physically in January 1945, but mentally, spiritually and emotionally, they were still imprisoned. What were they liberated for? What did they have emotionally, to carry forward into the rest of their lives? Many had no surviving family, no home, no community to share life with. Where was hope?
There are many amazing Memorial sculptures around the world depicting some of the horrors of this tragic time. Most of them are of haunted and tortured people or scenes of emaciated, barely alive, human beings. Those who were being freed looked so bewildered, still captive to their enemies and fears.
Yet, during the liberation of this camp there are testimonies of prisoners receiving real comfort from their rescuers and some even ending up getting married to them! It is incredible what the human spirit can endure and what shape life can take following such trauma.
So, regarding shape, how would I encapsulate in a sculpture, an embrace of two people sharing the news that they were liberated from such a soulless place and life?
I’m reminded of two single figures I sculpted about 3 years ago, one curled up and one with arms flung wide open. The curled up figure I sculpted during a time of very painful ‘happenings’. It expresses the vulnerability and despair I felt as I reached inward to hide from my outward reality. Whereas the ‘open’ figure, I named ‘Freedom’ as it postures the true inner joy of being alive.
So, to know true liberation, it surely has to be experienced from the inside out, from the heart to the hands. As I search on for a ‘liberation embrace’, I pray that we all, in these coming seasons, know increasing freedom and liberation from any captivity we are experiencing.