Ann's Grave

2011 - 2014   Butler Pennsylvania

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I wanted to create a lasting tribute to Ann, something that spoke about her as a person. I started by reflecting on the qualities and traits that I knew her by, like the strength of her will and convictions; the fact that I road in the back seat with her for years and never once saw her use a seat belt; the uncompromising daily schedule she lived by; the mental and physical toughness of her spirit; the heavy foot that sped us from the house in Tahoe to the church and market every Sunday when I was a child visiting; the love she confessed for the City the last time I spoke with her. All of these and so much more came to define the presence that she exuded; a presence that I hoped to capture with the design. As I tried to find physical form to these various characters and traits, I kept running into the challenge on how to best express them. I wanted the memorial to be understood in a visceral way when someone came to visit her. Understanding the limitations of the monument and its ability to act as a vehicle to convey who she was as a person, made me realize that her unique persona was something that resided in the hearts and minds of those who knew her. 

 

Aware that my initial impetus had become frivolous, I decided to start over with the design. I began by asking myself what might she have wanted to be conveyed in her memorial. After pondering this for awhile two things began to emerged; the first was some symbol of her faith in God, the second was some expression about her enduring relationship to my Grandfather.