For IMAGINE Peace Now! I set out to create a sculpture with a gun that would be disarmed without altering the gun itself, somehow I didn’t want to have anything to do with it physically and to present an alternative reality for it. I decided to make a traditional Japanese shishi-odoshi fountain, thinking I could hide the gun by making it fit in an ornamental garden, by adding water in place of fire, and by automating it to take away the human element.
Shishi-odoshi, when translated from the Japanese literally, means “scare deer" and most often refers to a fountain that startles animals away from ornamental plantings or gardens, but is soothing and enjoyed by people. This fountain too, draws me in, but the knocking, the mock-firing and loading over and over brings me back to my senses, a reminder that our work is not complete. Guns pose a threat to the safety of our families and communities and we must remain diligent in our efforts towards empathy, understanding and education to truly disarm gun-culture and practice peace.