This weekend, I was awarded 2nd place among 330 public votes, and one of top three Jury Selections for the ceramic piece pictured above, Sleeping Woman.
My greatest thanks to MACAM, its founders Cesar Nammour and Gabriele Schaub, the Sponsor and the distinguished members of the Jury for offering this chance to a range of artists/sculptors here in Lebanon. There are some impressive models submitted to the competition, and I am elated to see a good number of the winners are young and talented! It shows that this country stands a chance in the very near future.
As a previous post indicates, Sleeping Woman has been on my mind for about 3 years. A month before its creation, I envisioned a person peering out of a tiny niche, or a closely fitted space. Instantly, I thought of ways a tiny enclosure could appear like a source of comfort – just visualizing two objects pressing on two sides of a head, almost like pressing your palms against your ears, to induce this feeling of comfort and tranquility that comes with the silence. The hand partly hanging off the side of the base seems to convey that the most. To someone like my brother, it looks “morbid”; the woman appears dead, lying in an eternal state of ease under a heavy wooden plank and raising questions (in his mind) about how and why she is laying under there.
I became more interested in hearing what everyone else thinks when they see Sleeping Woman. A better occasion could not have been presented than when MACAM announced its Age of Bronze Competition. I had the chance to have visitors see it, to give their own thoughts and interpretations about it, to be somehow moved by it.
I am humbled to find that visitors and members of the Jury were in fact very moved by it!
Incidentally, Sleeping Woman had earlier acquired the name of Veronica by a friend of mine, and recently acquired the title Oppressed Woman by the publishers of MACAM’s Facebook page. I love the alternate meaning/impression both titles exude about the work!
Thank you for reading this, and I hope to hear ALL your thoughts soon.