46 x 25 in
Helen’s Stanley’s cutout urn, Never-ending depicts a cracked and broken vessel bearing a map of the Middle East and a poem written in Arabic. The title reflects a dual history - that of the Middle East and of the painting itself. Stanley cut out three urn panels in 1993 as a reflection of the first Gulf War. She painted and gessoed the panels, selling one, keeping one for herself and leaving this one in her studio, unresolved. In 2003 during the second Gulf War, she took the painting out again, deepening the cracks and adding the poem. Again she put it away. In December of 2014, she took out the painting for the last time. She added more cracks and brightened the poem. The work reflects an area of the world shattered by war and turmoil, a struggle over fundamental differences in the translations of sacred texts.