About the Exhibition
Jesse Moore’s Devotion No. 17 is a large-scale structure made entirely of wood. It is composed of two 10 ½’ wheels that are crossed at a 60 degree angle and connected at their intersection. Inside this primary “carriage” structure are two wooden bells joined at their smaller ends.
For Moore, Devotions No. 17 holds both personal significance and universal appeal. Moore conceived this work as a personal memorial to a friend, as well as a monument to long-established ideas about community. She was inspired by poet John Donne’s admonition that “no man is an island entire of itself,” and by his evocative use of bell imagery. This sculpture employs two bells to refer to the numerous ways in which we use or have used bells.
Moore states that “Bells have been used to warn, to celebrate, to make music, as well as to mark time. Devotions No. 17 represents an accumulation of these conventional civic uses of bells into one object. The sculpture’s proximity to public buildings and churches allows it to serve as a reminder of all the significant community events for which bells are made.”
Jim Clark, Executive Director of the Public Art Fund, says, “Jesse Moore’s Devotions No. 17 emanates from personal experience, expanded to encompass the human experience. This sculpture is a poetic reflection of the balance between individual and community, celebration and loss. By fabricating the bells out of wood instead of metal, the viewer can more fully consider the ‘bell’ as a cultural object rather than a functioning bell.”