Blooming in the Face of Trauma

Rose and Fence © Mary Baker
Rose and Fence © Mary Baker

I remember exactly where I was on 9/11, just like everyone else in America.

It was a bluebird day, much like today, and I was walking on my way to vote, it was voting day, when  I met someone I knew on talking on their cell phone looking perplexed and confused and shaking their head.  And then I remember walking down to the Tannery to pick something up, and everyone in the shop being completely silent, everyone was looking straight ahead and not saying a word.

It wasn’t until I got back home to my studio that I found out what was happening and then watching on TV seeing the unthinkable.  New York City is where I was born and raised, seeing the collapse and the lower part of Manhattan being engulfed. Luckily my family was located.  It was 3 months before I could semi function after that.  The country was utterly traumatized.

I always have thought as an artist, that subconsciously painters and other people in the arts work through traumas, and it wasn’t until after I painted a series of paintings, that I realized that they were about 9/11.  The 2 paintings here are 2 of what turned out to be a series.  2 fence posts, or columns, reminiscent of the twin towers, with life growing between them, showed up over and over in the paintings that I did in the years that followed, as America recovered from the anguish of that day, and started to bloom once more.

Yellow Roses © Mary Baker
Yellow Roses © Mary Baker

These roses and fences were found and can still be found in the South End of Newburyport, in Newburyport’s Historic District.