In Her Words: Ever since childhood I wondered why disputes between or within countries couldn't be solved over a game of chess instead of in battle. I didn't understand how a problem, no matter how large, could be solved more effectively by counting bodies and prisoners than by capturing a chess opponent's carved marble king. As an adult, I have certainly lost some naivety regarding the complexities of war, but I am still left utterly confused about the advantages of war, where people throughout the world are left to carry permanent memories and scars.
|Group of steel peace signs|
When the Iraq War began, I felt helpless by the tragedies I knew were to come. Many people in my area were displaying yellow ribbons outside their homes to show support for "our” troops. I, too, wanted to support our troops but I found myself struggling to figure out just who exactly that included.
|Peace sign end table|
Ultimately, what became clear to me was that “my” troops consist, not only of the soldiers fighting for my country, but of all people throughout the world. “My” troops deserve to live in a peaceful safe environment where children can learn that there are alternatives to violence. They deserve to live their lives without being exposed to, or living with the consequences that result from times of war.
|Peace sign wall sculpture|
So, in 2003, without any solutions, but with strong convictions, I set out to combine my art and my message, resulting in the creation of my first peace sign sculpture, which I placed at the end of my driveway. No, it wasn't a yellow ribbon, but it was absolutely a sign of support for our troops--for “my” troops. A sign that meant, “...bring our friends and family members home...no more violence...no more war”. And for nearly eight years that is the message I put into every peace sign made since the very first one that stood at the end of my driveway.
|Recycled "Circle of Hands" table|
You can see more of Susan's work in her Etsy shop bluemetal
Visit her on the web at bluemetal design.com
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