Still Life… with Bird

2003, 60 x 60″ (152 x 152cm)

Destruction, resurrection, desolation, hope, memory…. No one remains unaffected by the events of 9/11 and the continuing acts of terrorism worldwide. We know it can happen anywhere, anytime, and to anyone.

During the first Gulf War, I sat at my loom weaving images of death and listening to the news on CNN. I was weaving a series of tapestries honouring the souls of the birds that my cat had killed. And now, a decade later, we are engaged in another Gulf War in Iraq. September 11th, 2001 came and went, thousands of people die needlessly every day, and still there are terrorist acts around the world.

The skeleton of the world trade centre, the skeleton of a bird wing, actual bones; all testaments to terrorism as a tactic of war. The orange sky evokes the aftermath of 9/11, the bones evoke museum displays. Bones are precious; they can be buried in a cairn or burned in a crematorium or buried in another sense in a dusty museum drawer. Think of the native tribes seeking to recover the bones of their ancestors. In future ages will archaeologists dig in what was once New York and wonder at what they find? The stories of bone fragments of truly minuscule size being used to trace the person they belonged to through DNA affected me deeply.

The bird hovering in the sky – is this the angel of death come to wreak havoc on an uncaring world or is this the Quetzelcoatl, the phoenix, rising from the bones and the ashes of a dead civilization to create a new world?

Please see the Poems section for “Wail for My Brothers.”

Comments are closed.