Friday, November 07, 2008

Smallpox Monument Working Design

Using art to promote a sense of healing and historical commemoration as in the case of the Eradication of Smallpox Monument is the most fulfilling experience. I can put my mind and soul to its best use in concocting a design that addresses symbolism as well as aesthetics and a sense of majesty. I had to work the evening of the submission deadline, but after stopping to get gas and rushing through traffic with my working scale model and my pictures of it, I made it home in time to write the proposal and download the jpegs.
In my piece, I have humanized 4 Bifurcated Needles, the technological heroes of the eradication fight of smallpox. With joined arms raised in a victory stance, these 4 figurative, stylistic needles stick straight into Mother Earth, healing the Earth itself. The concentric rings within the 4 figures representing the 4 "corners" of the Earth, represent the various stages of the disease Mandala-style, from the red initial bumps on to the darkened scab in the center, which I propose to be lifted at the ceremony to reveal a pockmark on the Earth. The rings are composed of beads in the working model, and will be offered as souvenir amulets at the ceremony, to raise money and awareness. For the actual monument, colored rocks from 4 "corners" of the Earth will be utilized. It is an Earth sculpture to symbolize the breadth of the scourge. The raised arms symbolize the wave of life (as on a hospital screen), as well as victory. I've given a spiritual tone to this monument that blends the science, the Earth, and humanity.