The Rising is a diorama that I originally created for a juried art show commemorating the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that happened on September 11, 2001. One of the requirements for this show is that the artwork had to be made from a minimum of 75% recycled material. Well I found a cardboard shoebox that was leftover from a pair of sneakers I purchased a few months earlier and I came up with an idea of a diorama. During the initial planning phase, I had sat down at a table when a pair of 5-year-old denim shorts that I was wearing had suddenly shredded down the front leg. It left a hole that was too big to patch up so I had even more recycled material than I expected. I painted parts of the shorts black while I painted other parts white. The black parts served as the foundation for the debris while the white parts served as the doll’s angel dress.
When I was planning and constructing the diorama, I thought about "The Rising," a song that Bruce Springsteen wrote soon after the terrorist attack and I started to imagine an angel figure rising from the wreckage of Ground Zero.
I found the doll in a thrift store. I didn’t recognize this doll, even though I was drawn in by her very cute face. The markings on her back only said "©2006 Zizzle". After doing some searches on Google, I figured out what this doll is. She is a Super Cycling Sarah Doll and she can still be found in certain places like the Amazon Marketplace. This doll originally came with a bicycle and a dog but she was devoid of both by the time I rescued her from the thrift store. The doll wears a pair of tennis shoes that came glued to the doll’s foot so I couldn’t remove it. (It ended up matching the outline of the heart on her chest.) I replaced her original jeans with an outfit that I made from the shredded jeans shorts that I painted white. I constructed the outfit using instructions from Tina Casey’s book Fabulous Fashion Doll Clothing You Can Make. I attached a bling glittering heart sticker to the chest area to represent love. I made the symbols on the doll’s skirt from Shrinky Dinks then glued it on her outfit. Each symbol represented a different religion or ethical system or belief system and I included a question mark to denote any religion/ethics/belifes I may have inadvertantly skipped. I made angel wings using glitter paper that was glued on bristol board. I used a black ink pen to draw the feather details on the wings.
As for the dog angel companion, it was originally a cell phone cover that originally fitted my tiny flip top cell phone that I decided to include in the project when my husband bought me a new smartphone that was too big for the cover. For the skeletal ruins of the World Trade Center in the background, I made them from a used aluminum disposable baking dish that I cut into smaller strips.
For the ground rubble, I laid down a layer of my old demin shorts that I painted black then cut up into smaller pieces. Then I added another layer that included old buttons from my shredded shorts, a candy wrapper, my husband’s broken flip top cell phone that couldn’t be recycled, a broken pair of pink pig-shaped headphones, and an old key that’s now useless. I also added a layer of textured granular acrlic gel to simulate the dust, stones, and smaller pieces of rubble. Rounding out the debris are two of my own photojewelry made from Shrinky Dinks—one of which was slightly broken at the top and it couldn’t be used as a necklace and the other I had a hard time selling. All of the aforementioned items represented the photographs and other personal items that belonged to the victims of the terrorist attacks and were scattered all over the place with the destruction of the World Trade Center.