"Growing up in the greater Philadelphia suburbs in 2001, I was first made aware of the attacks by my third grade teacher. I remember seeing the images in our tiny school library on live television. Students in this area where the first to leave school, parents calling them home out of fear; not knowing if an uncle, sister, cousin or brother had survived. My home is centered between each location of the attacks: three hours west to rural Shanksville, PA, northeast to New York and southwest to Washington D.C. In my third grade mind the airspace ahead was no longer safe. Though my family did not see any loss, the memories of the event still haunt me.
Thus, I am moved by Sarah Albritton’s diptych of the 9/11 attacks. The first piece, Twin Towers, God, depicts grass, trees, angels and a church residing among the buildings of New York. America was perceived to be running smoothly that morning, nothing was suspected. It was a sunny day after all. Her placement of the planes may suggest this is right before the event happened.
The second of the diptych, Twin Towers, Death and Hell illustrates the attacks: planes crashing, chaos of fire, police and ambulances underfoot. There are people on the ground, people falling out of windows, rescuers trying to reach the flames with hoses. Black smoke rises to the ends of the canvas. The scene seems to be a different angle than the last, a more up close view of the buildings, we only see four buildings in the background, and the church is missing. Contrasting with the first image, no grass appears in the work, in fact only a few tiny trees make it in the background. This work boldly proclaims the chaos, fear and uncertainty felt at the time through the use of color and strokes.
Although Sarah lived a world away from the sites of the event, she took on the task of depicting this shocking event. Her art speaks to the fear and worry in our nation’s history that is worth recording in paint. Her sense of bravery, honesty and bluntness contributes to making this diptych my favorite work by Sarah Albritton." --Liz Zanca, 2016