I am writing to express my support for the life-size casting of the Bearing Project and its placement in our community. In a world where the cost of war is too often measured in dollars and cents, the Bearing Project serves as a sobering reminder of the myriad ways the devastation of war continues to penetrate peoples’ lives years after weapons have been laid down.
This sculpture honors the enduring suffering not only of soldiers, but of the loved ones that help to carry that weight when the fighting is over, even when the soldiers have passed on. The Bearing Project pays a special tribute to the sacrifice of the women who pick up the pieces and march on when hearts and minds have been shattered by war.
This sculpture captures the universality of the suffering and sacrifice of warfare, but it has special relevance to our own time and our own community. I am hopeful that this tribute to sacrifice will soon have a place in Spokane.
-Representative Marcus Riccelli
The Bearing Project is a thought provoking sculpture that elicits reflection on war, and not only its overt costs, but also the hidden toll that is taken on by society with a special emphasis on the role of women. In a region whose fate is interdependent with our military community, it is important to have the presence of public art that will capture the enduring sacrifices of all and make us think intensely. I support this artwork being placed somewhere in our community that is touched deeply by military conflict such as the VA Hospital grounds.
-State Senator Lisa Brown
"The Bearing Project is a sorely needed public sculpture which would allow all of us to contemplate the aftermath of war and our responsibilities toward both veterans and civilians."
-Veterans for Peace, Chapter 35 supports The Bearing Public Sculpture
by Veteransforpeace Spokane
"Bearing" makes a powerful statement about the burdens borne by societies, most especially women, because of war. Artist Ildikó Kalapács employs universal archetypes to prompt questions we should all be asking about the costs -- financial, emotional, and moral -- of institutionalized violence. The result, for the viewer, is compassion, not only for those who must shoulder the burdens imposed by war, but also for those sent to fight who, when they return home, are now so damaged that they must be carried.
The Bearing Project goes beyond any other war memorial or statue. It causes us to consider its aftermath in a different way and, we can only hope, will give further reason for mankind to think very, very deeply before taking steps towards armed conflict. The idea of placing the sculpture on all continents is lofty, noble and worthy.
I have known Ildikó and her work for many years. I feel that this will be a powerful sculpture with a poignant personal but universal message about the consequences of war, conflict and relationship.
Ildikó Kalapács is a talented and socially committed artist. Her work is informed not only by her international experience and perspective, but also by a deep compassion for oppressed peoples. The Bearing Project is particularly thought-provoking. Its depiction of a heavily armed boy-soldier being borne in a head-basket by a woman who could well be his mother, and who is certain among his victims. The sculpture is a powerful reminder that inhumanity knows no borders, and that its defeat requires men and women of goodwill to respect, help and, most importantly, nurture hope in others. Doing so is the ultimate antidote to the poisons that kill us when hope is abandoned. We are proud to support the Bearing Public Sculpture Project as an important addition to Spokane's artscape and an important challenge to the world's heartscape.
-Shaun O'L. Higgins and Ann Glendening
War is often glorified, and Bearing is one of too-few efforts to show the reality of the weight of war and upon whom its weight falls. War and violence have so many human, family, and community costs which are borne mostly silently by women. I hope this sculpture project will be able to be seen by many.
Ildikó Kalapács's Bearing is seeringly tough-minded, visually dynamic and speaks to a universal humanity. It will be a wonderful addition to our community.
Public art is so important to the quality of life of a community. The Bearing Sculpture Art Project demonstrates how we as humans can overcome anything and how - through the power of visual art- we share this silent statement. Ildikó's inspiring monument of how women and men from all walks of life can overcome obstacles will give the audience the power to reflect on life's trials and tribulations. This fascinating sculpture joins a long list of outstanding and provocative public art displays already being shared with an appreciative audience in Spokane.
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.