One of the high points of my 18 years spent on Long Island were my visits to my friend, the sculptor Carol Brody. Her home in Brookville was set on a cliff overlooking Route 107, a fairly busy thoroughfare. The views from her living room windows were the twinkling lights of cars as they passed, muffled by the noise of traffic below. The double paned casement windows – original to this 1800’s former mill house, kept it surprisingly quiet.
Equal to these interior views, were those seen from her pool, an oval shaped and elegant structure set on a brick patio. The surroundings of a plethora of trees and flora from her English style gardens added to this majestic setting. While we indulged in toxic pleasures, we often discussed her work, and what forms she would be creating out of the large slabs of marble waiting to be carved in her studio, adjacent to the mill house.
Somewhere in the late 1970’s I suggested that she forge into a new direction. Her abstract pieces, up to that point, were a direct result of her years studying with a disciple of the renowned sculptor, Henry Moore.
The timing of this suggestion was due to the overwhelming popularity of the invasion of the British bands. The theme would be a collection of some of Rock & Roll’s most illustrious figures. Carol immediately began exploring this new course, which ultimately resulted in the ‘inauguration’ bronze of Tina Turner. She seemed as good a candidate as any of the many subjects she was considering.
Tina in bronze stands 28 inches tall with a circumference of 14 inches in width, and true to her spirit, she stands on a marble base. She exudes the energy and charisma of the queen of Rock and Roll and symbolizes all that she stood for, a tribute to this vibrant musician and adored female icon.
In looking back to this time in my and our lives, it is hard to comprehend a generation in which women like Tina were bound by an unspeakable code of overbearing men. We were on the cusp of so much more, with so many expectations of a life without the baggage that held many of us back.
After reading the tributes to this magnificent artist, and after recently viewing the film ‘TINA’, I can’t help but wonder how constricted she must have felt under the heavy hand of Ike Turner, and how bounded she was to his control. His physical abuse and dictatorial dominance were a form of mental enslavement that many women (far less famous) were subjected to, years before Women’s Liberation became an empowering platform.
It wasn’t until she freed herself of his hold that she was able to emerge as an artist in her own right. And not until she met Erwin Bach did she come to realize that love was not a second hand emotion.
In a quote she said “my legacy is that I stayed on course – from the beginning to the end, because I believed in something inside of me”.
Tina Turner will be remembered as one of the great female performers of all time in part due to this strength of character. She will remain a trailblazer and a fierce force of nature for those talented enough to follow in her (stilettoed) footsteps.