The small bronze version of the sculpture was created by internationally-known Spokane artist Ildikó Kalapács in 2008, with grant funding from the non-profit Puffin Foundation, Inc.
The public sculpture titled Bearing is proposed to be cast life-size and placed in a prominent location in the greater Spokane area. Cast by the internationally-known Walla Walla Foundry, Bearing will be a gift to the community from the donors of the Bearing Public Sculpture Project Fund.
Bearing celebrates the strength of women across the world. This sculpture depicts a woman carrying a man, to represent the burden that war places on the human spirit. Dispossessed women carry the weight of family & spousal responsibilities; bearing the physical & emotional load of the aftermath of war.
The Bearing Public Sculpture Project is a 501(c)3 organization.
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The Bearing Sculpture Project
Ildikó Kalapács, Artist
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.