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As Above/As Below
Prayer 2
Tongues Of Fire
Fire Light
brainstorm 3
brainstorm3 detail
Brainstorm 2 views
Brainstorm side view
Brainstorm 3
Brainstorm 3 detail

BRAINSTORM is the second memorial I have crafted commemorating the Iraq/Afghan wars.

May 1st of 2009 I lost a very dear friend, and a good kind human being - Sergeant Voldemars Ansevics of the Latvian armed forces. Voldemars was fighting alongside American soldiers in Afghanistan, when he was blown to kingdom-come in the bleak mountains of Kumar province. His widow and two children received back only bits & pieces of what remained of the man they had loved.

I also visited Walter Reed hospital in D.C. that summer. I had gone to thank the young soldiers for their sacrifice. And I found out I did not have the courage to approach them as they sat in their wheelchairs - missing their arms & legs, All I could think of was “They are just babies… My God, they're just babies…” So I made a sculpture the size of an infant that I could cradle in my arms.

The title BRAINSTORM derives from the type of brain damage that occurs from roadside bombs: IED's - improvised explosive devices.

Sometimes my grief feels isolated - as if it were a museum exhibit, rather than the gut wrenching nausea and panic and emptiness one feels upon receiving 'the news'…

The Sufis (the mystical, rather than the rules & regulations branch of Islam) speak of every human being as a mirror reflecting the world & the Divine. Voldemar's mirror is now forever shattered.

SNIEDZE RUNGIS