Letter to the Editor | August 2019 | Letters to the Editor | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
click to enlarge Letter to the Editor | August 2019
Photo: Stefan Findel
Lady Macbeth Sleepwalker, a ceramic and mixed midea sculpture by Judy Sigunick.

To the Editor:

The day I met Judy, she and Phil, her husband, had arrived to select a portion of a ceramic studio I had inherited with the purchase of my home. They got out of the car, Judy smiled directly at me, and said, "I think we will be best friends." For the next decade or more, it felt as if that were indeed true. So I was pleased to see her remembered in Chronogram, but I must admit to being disappointed that the article only etched the surface of a brilliant sculptor whose clay pieces should have been represented here.

Although the drawings are important work completed the last year or two before her passing, in my estimation, they miss the point. Her strength came in finding her voice as a woman, speaking for women through the intimate, tender, emotional, beautiful, strong pieces—women with no arms to hold their children, women bonded two heads one body, mother and daughter, sisters, two as one, a woman's head atop a teapot. These sculptures talk of women's issues, how they are placed in the world; the loads they carry; the pain, suffering, and loss that women experience.

Judy's work also acts as witness to the destruction of nature/nurture embodied in the elephant, hunted, a majestic animal on a death march to extinction, as life, the rider on the elephant's back is. Her sculptures express so poignantly a deep and profound sense of what it means to be. This, her contribution to the conversation of art history, where women are so under-represented and mostly visible because of the male artist they are partnered with, is exceptional and deeply significant.

The works in Letters to Shakespeare are fine drawings, but by placing the significance on Shakespeare as the brilliant playwright that understands the human condition so well, it reaffirms Judy's brother's position: men as the more powerful, brilliant, skilled, and deserving of the attention, thereby suggesting her inferiority as a woman, artist, intellectual, and by inference, that of all women, coming into question as it pertains to the historical conversation.

—S Lillian Horst

Comments (0)
Add a Comment
  • or

Support Chronogram