Religion Magazine

The Weight of Words

By Richardl @richardlittleda

More than rocks and steel

In 2013, Florida-based artist Celeste Roberge created an artwork based on a steel mesh framework filled with 4000lb of locally-sourced stones. The frame is a rough outline of her own body, slightly bigger than life size, and the stones are all jumbled inside.  It is an evocative piece, capturing the movement of the human body, the rigidity of the steel and the enormous age of the stones. The steel framework seems at once to give the stones form but also to imprison them, like a cage. Rising Cairn is a powerful piece of art in anybody’s book:



However, now add in the power of words, and it becomes something else entirely. This past week, I have seen exactly the same sculpture referred to as The Weight of Grief, and immediately its power is magnified. A recently bereaved friend looked at it yesterday, and took a few moments to respond. She talked of how grief can feel like a heavy burden, trapping the individual and weighing them down. Rising Cairn would have passed her by, but Weight of Grief left her profoundly moved. There is no doubting the extraordinary skill of the artist – but how amazing that the addition of a title can make such a difference:


Image: CLICK for full-size

Those of us who wield words for a living should take due note!

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