11September2001 A cantata for healing

11September2001 A cantata for healing

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Four original drawings.

Each drawing: 40″H x 24″W

11 September 2001
Four works on paper created during the week of 11 September 2001. Four original works representing the four cardinal directions, collages of roses : smoke-shattered images made whole.

The series was placed in several ecumenical locations in memorial.

The four pieces were created immediately in the week/wake of our nation’s tragedy of devastation and horror

The Wayzata Community Church, Wayzata, Minnesota, installed my art for an ecumenical memorial service on the first anniversary.

I called the ministers at WCC church in July 2002 asking if they thought of offering an ecumenical memorial service marking the first anniversary of 9/11 and I had created  four original works immediately as my way of coping and transforming the terror.

We agreed to a face to face appointment. I knew they had to experience the four works.

My proposal was for a high ceremony of remembrance- and the work would bre installed inthe colonnade at the 4 cardinal directions high above eye level and each would shrouded by drapes of black veil that would fall onto the floor. Haunting. I know trauma sears the nervous system and scars the bone and heart. I know healing occurs in communion with others – sacred listening and intimate acknowlegement which slowly draws out the embedded dark energy. A sacred process of grace love.

The following day, Rev. Bob Stout called me and stated WCC would host an ecumenical service on 11 September 2002 and my work would be a visual centerpiece and a ‘performer’ in the service of remembrance and healing.

I was requested to walk in the processional with the Police Dept., the Fire Dept., and the city and state officials – all the ministers were involved.

On 11 September 2002, the Wayzata Community Church’s sanctuary was shoulder to shoulder on the pews and standing room was occupied.

At the end of the solemn hour long service, the four ministers led the congregation out into the spacious colonnade where my four original works were shrouded in black veil. Complete silence as the congregation filled the spacious colonade. 

Once everyone entered and had stilled, Rev. Bob Stout nodded. Tjhis gesture signaled to the other three ministers to pull down the black veils and the images of roses seemed to rush and rise upward as the black veil fell to the ground. A year of mourning had been marked. 

I created 3000 ribbons that appeared as wing-breaths in the days and weeks following 9/11. Nine steps was the”mantra”- the steps to create each ribbon- like the prayers in the Kaddish to commend the spirit to Heaven. Nine is a number that has symbolic resonance as well.

I created ribbons every night at the Dakota Jazz Club for fire departments, hospital ERs, bereft families, Minnesota Orchestra musicians and conductor, etc.

My first ‘actions’ were initiated at the South YMCA where I was a water fitness and weight training instructor. I set up a table for families at the South YMCA – and each person created one step of the nine steps and, once completed passed it to the person sitting next to them – until completion. The ‘actions’ were soothing and transformed fear into a productive gesture. Families, extended families, participated: a positive action to quiet overwhelming fear ans helplessness. Community actions binds the wounds – together as one, not alone.

The shape of the ribbons evolved and became to look more like wings toward the denouement of my offering.

Please note:

https://catherineljohnson.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/11-september-2001-11-september-2011/

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