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Sounds of the Ocean, 4 digital prints – 22” x 31”  2006

The photographs comprising Sounds of the Ocean are part of the record and process of Sherry Wiggins’ ongoing interest in the Middle East. In this work, Wiggins interviewed people in both the U.S. and the West Bank of the Occupied Territories of Palestine by transporting questions back and forth to create a form of dialogue and thoughtful observation.

This particular work rises from one question asked of several Palestinians:  “What is your dream and what is your idea of paradise?” A woman named Suhair answered that she “would like to hear the sound of the ocean and would love a garden with a lemon tree and an olive tree.” A man named Joseph answered that he “would like peace anywhere,” while  a woman named Taghrid answered that she “would like to have the freedom to travel and to study and explore her interests.”

After the interviews and back in the U.S., Wiggins performed a ritual in which she placed an artist’s easel and a golden frame by the ocean. She then placed different objects in the frame to reflect the dreams of the Palestinians with whom she spoke, and recorded the process in digital media.  First, she placed the empty golden frame, then a painting of a lemon tree for Suhair, a Palestinian flag for Joseph, and finally, a photograph of Taghrid.