52" x 38" x 48"
I was at a turning point in life. I had done everything in my power to stay afloat as a single mom and working artist. Nothing seemed to be working, and I was about to lose everything.
I had to stop, breathe and ask myself... what would happen? I realized that this might be scary, but I would find some way to make life happy, even in extreme circumstance.
In talking to a friend, I laughed and told him it would take 5 thousand dollars within the next few days to get me out of the hole I was in. O well, I said.
The next day, a collector called me out of the blue. He had purchased some of my sculptures a year or so before and wanted to know what I was up to. I told him I would be happy to sculpt some gaskets for him (he owns a gasket company in Dover, Ohio) because I was broke. I said nothing more to him, just joked with him about all the happenstances. He asked if he could call me right back and when he did, he said," Colleen, I am going to send you a check for 5 thousand dollars. You don't need to do anything just finish what you’re working on and we'll talk.”
A month later he started an agency, paid me a salary, AND commissioned me to do a sculpture for him. It was one of the kinds of commissions that you dream about... totally open. Basically, here's a lot of money, Colleen. Sculpt.
Sculpt I did. That was the birth of the Awakening, a life size fountain sculpture about the awakening of our spirits and souls. Hurricane Katrina had just gone on, and I was struck by the beauty of people helping one another. Not to mention what had just been done for me. Inside the base I sculpted hundreds of figures pulling each other from the mud, helping to get them back on their feet. I read Plato's Allegory of the cave, and it fit so well. The main figure is emerging from some sort of rocky grave that I imagined her pulling herself from. Water comes from somewhere behind her ear, drips down her arm to her finger that she is watching. She is inside of the moment, and I wanted this to come through in the sculpture. Too many times we try to live in a future that hasn't happened or a past that keeps changing with each new justification that the ego can muster up. The water drips from her finger down to the other palm... and she is inside of this, inside the joy of just that moment, lost not in her past or in some fear of what could happen, but in an awakening of her spirit. This is where freedom lives, where love flourishes and where God intended us to be. We escape from Eden every day when we live outside the moment.
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