The Tide That Brings Us HomeNovember 10th, 2012 at 7:42 pm by Tom Schaad under News, Personalities, Uncategorized
Sleek glass tablets provide virtual worlds of wonder. They’re platforms from which we explore everything from best-selling novels to high definition action that has the power to entertain and mesmerize. We ”tweet” electronic snippets of thought, launch video records of personal achievement , or post images of a favorite sandwich for lunch with our Facebook “friends.” Such is the modern mode of staying in touch with each other and the world. But to artist Cheryl White of Norfolk, the art of communication is best recorded by taking pen in hand.
Ms. White is combining writing and photography in her latest work “The Tide That Brings Us Home“–33 prints that now grace trains and stops along the Tide light rail line in Norfolk. Each print features photographs and maps relating to actual letters and emails written between military service members and their families. The notes range from letters from the Civil War to World War II telegrams to Facebook conversations.
Most of the letters represent a different time, when the written word stood for history–something to be touched and analyzed by the loops of cursive letters and smudges of ink from an expression of emotion. Ms. White was drawn to these letters from her own experience.
“My father, both my grandfathers, numerous uncles, an aunt, a brother-in-law, and many friends have or are currently serving in the military. My pre-teen diaries are filled with daily countdowns of the 180-plus days it would take my father to return home from six month cruises.”
Ms. White told me she “wanted to highlight memories, not memorials” as a major goal of this project made possible, in part, by the Norfolk Public Art Program. So as weary commuters wait for their train, or after they take a seat for the short ride to and from home, they’ll be reminded of what awaits them after a long day–a microcosm of what our troops missed for months or years at a time. Ms. White chose the Tide for this reason: “It makes us think of home, and that we all want to get there, safely.”