Ildikó Kalapács, Artist
The Bearing Sculpture Project
by Timothy J. Connor
Writer, editor, photographer for the Center for Justice and Spokane's Community Building
Ildikó Kalapács's inspiration for Bearing, a life-sized sculpture that succinctly embodies the intimate human burden of war, does not arise from a single moment, or memory, or place within her consciousness. Yet it does carry some weight of her history.
"I grew up in Hungary during the Cold War era. My grandparents were in the Second World War. And they experienced the German takeover, and then the Russian takeover, and then the socialist era. So they, especially the women, were very, very tough."
"Under the harshest conditions," she adds, "the women always had to figure out how to get what they wanted, for themselves, but mostly for their families."
What one does see in the poignant forms in Bearing is a matronly woman with a basket on her head. In the basket is a man. On the man's lap is a military-style automatic rifle. It is, very purposely, a different kind of monument to warfare from the mind of an artist who readily admits to spending some part of every day as a student of social justice.
From her hands and her points of view, she sees Bearing not as a hectoring argument, but as a starting point for reflection and discussion.