So back in about 2002, a neighbor gave me a piece of one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center. It had been given to him by Pat Cotton, a friend of his – now a retired NYC Ladder 7 Firefighter. I was asked to “make artwork” out of it so he could give it back to Pat. I am humbled by being part of this experience.
To have a piece of one of the planes in my home sitting on my drawing board… knowing that the terrorists used the plane to murder so many innocent people… And to try and create something with it… It was truly a challenging experience.
In September 2011, I finally finished Shattered Images; United Resolve and exhibited it alongside 71 other Carlisle artists in The Essence of Carlisle a three-month show at the Gleason Public Library. I was pleased to have so many Carlislians view the sculpture – to become part of it.
On January 18, 2012, along with the members of the Carlisle Fire Department, we gathered at the Carlisle, MA Fire Department where I presented Pat with the artwork. It was a fitting sendoff. Pat has taken it back to New York City with plans for it to go on public display.
9/11. Never Forget.
The following is a video shot by Carlisle Firefighter Bill Ho of that presentation. Below are photos of the sculpture/montage…. Followed by my Artist’s Statement that talks about the piece.
Shattered Images; United Resolve
The years go by yet the 9/11 tragedy still defies words. The needless slaughter of thousands of people. The faces put to names. Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends, Firefighters, Police, EMS… The harsh, stark reality of it all. The emptiness in the eyes of everyone whose hearts were ripped apart. It’s surely an understatement that 9/11 will affect countless thousands for generations to come.
So too has 9/11 had a profound impact on the entire world population. Anyone who is part of our civilized societies has had their core shaken to their very being. All of our lives have been forever altered. All of us lost a piece of ourselves that day.
And although scrapbooks, tapes and images will continue to be handed down laden with accounts of the tragedy – in the years to come, future generations will ask the question: “What was 9/11 like?”
Let this sculpture montage help serve as a visual reminder
Stark images. Contrasting emotions. Time frozen. A photo of South Tower capturing the moment of impact and the piece of the plane found in front of the Winter Garden – rivets ripped out of their holes – the twisted shard of metal torn apart as if it were made of paper –– a shocking reminder of the power of the impact. Yet all too surreal.
The hundreds of thousands of yellow ribbons that adorned public and private spaces and the mass of missing person flyers that blanketed New York City. Will any of us ever forget the heart-wrenching sorrow we felt with each passing day after the tragedy knowing that so many will never be found? That so many will forever mourn for the missing?
And the flags! The millions of flags displayed all across our nation. The symbol that became a viral statement of a determined resolve shouting out “We stand united!”
Ghostly white hands present another American flag to serve as an eerie reminder of the lives lost. Indeed, imbedded in the case – wrapped in the folds of the flag is a list of the 3,000 victims of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, Flight 93 that crashed at Shanksville, Pennsylvania, our Fire and Police heroes and the names of the crew members and passengers on Flights 11, 77 and 175. Names with faces. Faces with names.
Stand before this artwork – reflect on the person you have become as a result of 9/11. And let your shattered image reflected in the shards of mirror serve as a reminder that all of us have been deeply affected. All of us.
However, though our images may be shattered – our resolve will forever remain unbroken
9/11 – Never Forget.
Larry A. Bearfield, Carlisle, Massachusetts, 2011