Welcome to the Herman Maril Art Gallery Website


2001 2d winner
"Media and Its Words"
Virginia Blanca Arrisueno
First Prize, Category: 2 Dimensional
Mixed media

Artist Statement -

"Media and Its Words" shows several images of a woman's face presented on a t.v. shaped screen. On her face, words are neatly inscribed in proportional rows providing evidence that she was not the one that wrote on her skin. Instead, someone else wrote on her face. The terms presented are words related to the recent attacks. Words such as "bio-warfare, death, and evil-doings" are neatly written across her skin. The woman's facial expression is indifferent. She does not show any emotions and refuses to look at the viewer. Essentially, the woman does not know how to react to the words on her face.

I believe that the media influences the majority of people's opinions concerning the attacks. In essence, the media throws out various words onto the public to persuade them to support the United States. As a result, many Americans form their opinions based on what they see on t.v. rather than researching more on the situation through other sources. In some cases, individuals like myself question the validity of the media's statements. Are my opinions considerably influenced by the media. Are my opinions based on true facts. As a result, people like myself are left alone only to absorb the words and hopefully organize them in a coherent manner. Although the media's tactic is beneficial and patriotic, I believe that the solution for peace is not only persuasion of the masses but also helping the American population better understand what is going on in the world. If every person, foreign and non-foreign, took the time to fully understand the situation nationally and internationally, I believe that the rate of violence would decrease significantly.





2001 3d winner
"Sakvol Klippietjies"
David Page
First Prize, Category: 3 Dimensional
Limestone, steel, leather

Artist Statement -

In discussions of "peace" and "reconciliation," these words often become platitudes, desirable, but meaningless. What is omitted from the debate is an understanding of the mechanics or the properties of lasting peace.

It is not surprising that the lack of conflict is often mistaken for peace.

The search for peace is futile, because we are looking for the wrong thing. If we seek peace, we can at best hope for a truce. Meaningful peace is simply a fortunate by-product of a diligent quest for justice. It is this necessary struggle inherent in the quest for justice that I seek to honor.

A little more than a year ago, I visited Robben Island, the infamous former prison off the cost of Cape Town. For the latter half of the twentieth century it exclusively housed political prisoners, the most prominent of whom was Nelson Mandela. The primary activity was the quarrying of limestone on the island. The activity was extended into the bleak prison courtyard, where the inmates would reduce the rock to even smaller pieces with four-pound hammers. To many of the younger political prisoners, this courtyard was considered the "Finest University on Earth" because of their proximity to the greatest political minds of the Southern African subcontinent.

This cliched prison activity of breaking rocks can be seen as a metaphor for steadfastness and resolve, facing nearly impossible odds, the act of breaking the rocks symbolizes the sacrifice and struggle to overcome those odds. For this reason, I chose shards of limestone as the primary material for this piece. Once broken, the rock cannot be reconstituted, even if all the pieces are put back together, the change is irreversible. The collection of fragments, tightly bound together, illustrate both transformation and unity. The forged steel loop represents the will of those who refused to see their situation as hopeless or their position as inferior.