Proposal for the Churchill Park Public Art Project, City of Hamilton, ON Canada
This project is inspired by the noble deeds of humanitarians like Raoul Wallenberg, and Canada’s proud history as the country of philanthropy and humanitarian aid. I want this monument to commemorate acts of compassion, sympathy, and bravery that have risen in times of darkness, tragedy, and crisis; and to symbolize and call for a brighter future that can be built with the help of each one of us.
The materials of the sculptures include steel frames that hold thousands of blue glass beads–the number representing the 100,000 Jews that Wallenburg saved from the Holocaust, and as a whole it symbolizes all of humanity, inspired by the phrase “to save one person is to save all of humanity”. The glass is transparent, bright and reflective; each glass ball represents a drop of water, and every drop of water represents a human life–the glass balls are set within the steel but show through, symbolizing that a collection of individual efforts, no matter how small, can break through something hard and solid and let the light of hope and humanity shine through.
As the water droplets in each sculptural element convene and rise gradually along the path as a rising and gathering stream, they carry our narrative towards a central summit. An obelisk is set in the middle, accompanied by two sail-shaped discs that serve as a gateway; this obelisk represents a beacon of hope, and a summit of collective commemoration, a celebration of our achievements yet a reminder of the tragedies of the past.
This work is both grand and intimate. Its overall form recalls those great monuments of ancient cultures, yet it is not limited to the historical; it is modern and relevant. Its details call for personal interaction and contemplation. As one looks through the sculpture to the landscape, a sacred space of memory, reflection, and hope, rays of sunlight will shine through and refract from the glass beads like colorful stars, reminding us that through times of darkness and conflict we can find true light in humanity.