Bill Barrett, Sculptor


To the artist, the imagery of the sculpture is that of a book. “The geometric shapes are the pages as well as iconic images representing the World Trade Center, while the organic shapes are in motion,” Barrett said. What sort of motion, he leaves to the viewer to decide.


Barrett began by crafting many more organic shapes than he used, giving weight and mass to his emotions and finding catharsis in the act of self-expression. Then, like a writer penning a history, from all these many lives he selected the few that would best tell the story of them all; of the men and women in the buildings and of the first responders in the streets, of every citizen of the United States of America and, of course, of his own fear, anger, and hope.


And it’s okay to see what you need to see, says the artist. “Abstract art is like music in that when you listen to a song, everyone has different ideas about it, feels different emotions because of it. Even the same person listening to a piece at different times will feel differently. That’s true of abstract art. As a viewer, you can interpret it for yourself as well as seeing what the artist made. That’s what I like about abstract art: you get a chance to participate.”


Excerpts from an essay by Stefan Barkow for Purdue University­, North Central, sculpture dedication, September 11, 2014