A Piece Of Wood, a Few Tools and a New Creation Emerges!
by Laurie Friedman-Adler
Unlike playing a concert where there are finite emotional resolutions, a finished sculpture will continue to encourage an infinite range of reactions. Yes, you can record music with endless variations, endless interpretations, but sculpture is consistently tactile and forever unchanged. A finished sculpture enables you to gaze in wonderment or total disgust. Yet the details of wood grain weaving countless patterns, ebb and flow of perceived movements, the different shapes carved into the wood defining a story, all lead to an individual’s perception of this creative art form. Wood is the world’s most beautiful natural material and I sculpt because it helps me explain life’s triumphs and tragedies throughout history.
The Tour of 2010 tells my story of the journey Hevreh Ensemble took from Prague to Krakow to perform concerts at the Spanish Synagogue and the Galicia Museum. During our tour, we visited Theresienstadt Concentration Camp; a site of extreme suffering... cocobolo dust surrounds the beginning of the train tracks symbolizing death at the camp. The balancing ebony piece depicts the synagogue itself, gold leaf and meticulously braided black thread creates an intricate Star of David. I chose the ebony and gold because while playing our final concert, the synagogue was extremely dark, and during a slight break in my part of the music, I looked up and noticed that the ceiling was gold-leafed, glowing, bright and majestic. The last melody on the concert, played by Judith Dansker on the English horn, was a solemn prayer often heard in Synagogues during High Holidays. The deepness of this melody infected my soul and brought me to tears. In an instant it was finished never to feel that same spiritual inhabitance again. The final detail of this work is the Native American Indian triple drone flute on the far end, carved from the same one piece of Manzanita wood as the tracks. This instrument was used in our concerts, and makes the purest, most beautiful of sounds. How can one preserve those emotions and let them forever live in your consciousness? My sculpture documents the melding of different cultures and times in history, the memories of the past blending with present experience and hope for the future. It is the balance between something awful and something beautiful. This is why I sculpt.