As the growing child within my womb tumbles around and gently
prods my rib cage, I lash another sun bleached rib bone to
the rusty frame of an abandoned baby carriage. How fortunate
is this child within me, who will be born to a full breast
instead of being immediately confronted with the severity
The carriage I am working on serves as an armature for a
sculpture being built for The Cradle Project; an
extraordinary gathering of over 500 artists who are responding
to the plight of countless children in Sub Saharan Africa.
Naomi Natale, a sculptor based in Albuquerque, was inspired
to build this exhibit after photographing children who lived
from a dump in Kenya. When a couple of them vanished, it occurred
to her how close they lived to death on a daily bases and
wanted to take action in our own land of plenty.
My time spent time in Northern, Southern and Eastern Africa
has given me the opportunity to be inspired by the power that
emanates from the land itself and which manifests through
the people who dwell there. I have not witnessed such intense
struggle any other place in the world. These struggles have
entered in my work through building fine arts exhibits in
response to the problem of AIDS in Africa, as well as collaborating
with several artists for exhibits in regards to Genocide at
the Mizel Museum and the International Conference of Genocide
Scholars in Sarajevo in 2007. The struggle and perseverance
are subjects that remain very close to me, and I plan to instill
my first child to both the power and sorrow in Africa.
My baby’s head is currently nestled within my pelvis
bone; his first cradle. Turn a pelvis bone upside down and
it is transformed into an ominous mask-like form. This death
mask hovers over the cradle I built for The Cradle Project,
to reflect the death that hovers constantly for children being
born into famine and strife in Africa.
The Cradle Project will open on Saturday,
June 7th in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This historic and unprecedented
art installation –two years in the making– will
feature over five hundred cradles and cribs made by artists
from around the world using solely scrap and recycled materials.
Using the symbolism of empty cradles to represent the lost
potential of an estimated 48 million children orphaned by
disease and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, The Cradle
Project is designed to provoke art into action. The ultimate
mission is to promote awareness about this crisis and to raise
financial support to help feed, shelter, and educate these
forgotten children. Set against a towering backdrop of falling
sand, these empty cradles will speak volumes about the permanence
of loss, as children’s lives and potential - these cradles
- become buried.
WHAT: The Cradle Project
Exhibition and Opening Reception
WHERE: The Banque, 219 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque,
New Mexico, USA
WHEN: Exhibition – June 7-28, 2008,
Thursdays through Saturdays, 1 pm – 5 pm
Opening Reception – June 7, 2008, 12pm – 5 pm
WHO: The Cradle Project, featuring cradles
made by artists from around the world.
The Cradle Project website