After one month of my son’s passing, a close friend from Israel came to New York to spend time with me and to console me. She knew me and my children well and something of what I was going through. During this time, Igot a solicitation to participate in theme-based sculpture show to be held in Israel. I had no intention of doing this show; lets face it, I was definitely not in the mood to go down to my studio and start rough cutting raw stone.
My friend took the paper from me and said “you are doing this” ! I thought she was nuts, and said to myself “ya right, no way” as she began reading to me what they were looking for. They wanted a piece depicting the two different strains of Judaism, Sephardic and Ashkenaz. Growing up as a Sephardic woman in America, I knew what it was like to be in a minority and to have to fight against social norms and boundaries that I no longer accepted for myself.
My friend, whom I had known for twenty years by then, knew that what I needed most was to challenge myself and get back to me sculpting. I came up with a concept of two forms starting from the same roots, twisting separate directions and bent down in sorrow.
I went to the garage and found a rare piece of purple alabaster weighing about 100 pounds and dragged it into the studio. I chose to work in Alabaster for this project, because it is so soft and it can be rough cut very quickly. As I began to carve the stone, I literally fell into a trance and it felt as if I had lost touch with reality.
My friend knew me so well. Sculpting more than anything else was the therapy that I needed to begin to recover from the worst trauma of my life.
They never actually selected the piece for the show, because shipping to Israel was too expensive. But all that didn’t matter. What did matter was that it got me back into the working mode and I started to heal myself with my work. This was preparation for my next summer’s project at Marble/marble.