At the request of the museum, I wrote a brief statement about the work. This piece was a reaction to the lead-up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. I was fascinated - and somewhat horrified - by the rhetoric of war planners and politicians....

The piece "Heaven and Earth" was inspired by an 18th century sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," by Jonathon Edwards. A renowned evangelist and theologian, Edwards writes of the fallibility of man, his tendency toward sin, and the anger of a wrathful god:

O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment.


Shawn Busse - Artist's Statement for Heaven and Earth, 2003