This is the story of a sculpture made in acknowledgment of abuse that has occurred at the school. The story is communicated through the simple motif of the force and resistance of water. Caught in these waves is the crashing of values, of power misused and innocence abused.
This is a story about resistance and survival in the face of despair, about the struggle to overcome bullying, persecution, violence and all forms of abuse. This is the story of the survivor who fights to rise above malevolence, anxiety and cruelty.
Presented here is a story of fragility and confusion built upon the silent, gentle strength of a mighty stone. Set into a bedrock amphitheatre, the heavy, broken undulating movement of stone provides the underscore to this piece, with a broad rhythm that goes beyond the human condition.
This work speaks of a journey which begins as we leave the safety of the shore, the loving refuge and solidity of what we know, and we are cast into the chaos of the ocean and the upsetting dangers of the sea.
This symbol is based on what we are most familiar with, water “the life force”, the waves speaking of the motion that guides our being, our gesture of emotion. This is a story for a young man at a school surrounded by water, with an urge to dive into the wildest seas.
It is from this point of knowing that we are then cast out into the treachery and chaos of the ocean. The first wave, placed at the main turning point of the bedrock, emphasises the huge force behind this collision of values. This mighty wave rises within us, surging like Hokusai to a terrifying height. This anxiety is then repeated with the two following waves; anyone who has been dumped in the surf knows how awful these subsequent pounding monsters can be, a metaphor of the ongoing anxiety and pain experienced through abuse.
What is then played out is the struggle between hope and despair. Our life force as it is pulled in different directions: a willingness to live and love set against an insidious drag back into the chaos of malevolence and cruelty.
From a design perspective this is about the precious possibilities of direction, distance and shape being constricted by cruel limitations of line; a growing force of positive forms leaping toward the shore, set against a relentless tirade of negative grooves, tearing, splitting and scarring what was new, composed and connected.
This is a story that ends in peace, peace brought together through exhaustion and surrender. Calmer seas allow the pain and suffering to be recognised and hopefully even open up the possibility for some form of cleansing. And yet even in peace we are reminded of the ongoing, relentless wreckage by the exiting waves in the top right and the underlying dramatic movement of the water, of peace marred with tragedy.
A shattered Jesuit monogram of the sun stands above, emblematic of the rupture of trust between those whose lives have been so adversely affected by abuse and the Society which is responsible for it. This Is an expression of the broken Trinity, of what happens when the Father, Sun and Holy Spirit cannot connect and break apart.
What we are left with is disconnection, yet a disconnection that connects us all, the frailty and vulnerability that defines our humanity.
It is from this sense of brokenness that we come together in hope to work toward survival.. This is the survival of the hero that fights to rise above malevolence, anxiety and cruelty.
These are the waves of suffering, of those who have put their love and trust in others and been cast into chaos; that we may welcome their pain to the centre of our community, just as each wave is connected to the greater movement of the sea.
These waves stand as testament to the survivor’s cry, a cry not insubstantial but as big as the ocean, and a cry we are all responsible for hearing and bearing.
With acknowledgement and thanks to the brave survivors who have offered advice throughout the process that has been integral to the formation of this work.
For more information, please visit http://www.danieldominguez.com.au/