Forgiveness

Forgiveness was initiated, commissioned, and supported by National Glass Centre in Sunderland England to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. I was commissioned to create a new body of work exploring the theme of peace. With the assistance of National Glass Centre staff and artists I ran workshops with local and Scottish community groups of veterans, asylum seekers, and the elderly with dementia and their carers. The more I worked with these individuals the more it became apparent that without forgiveness it is not possible to achieve a state of peace.

The exhibition explores the process of forgiveness. Inspired by my interactions with the members of the community groups and the Book of Forgiving by Desmond and Mpho Tutu I created of body of work encompassing video, sound, performance, installation, and sculpture, and much of it is interactive. The exhibition is divided into for sections or zones, each one a step in the process of forgiveness. The exhibition brings together a number of people's stories and provides opportunities for visitors to add their own voices and stories.

For the opening at National Glass Centre I recreated a scene from the central work of the exhibition my sister's bones, where I drop a glass ball that contains my sister's remains on a sheet of toughened glass. Having let go of the object signifying my own personal story of forgiveness, the glass shatters and the release of stress in the glass is audible. When we filmed the scene which you see in the film my sister's bones, that sound was audible for over two weeks.

Opening night performance of letting go at National Glass Centre

Video courtesy of National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland

© 2020 CARRIE FERTIG

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