c Janette MacKinlay

© Janette MacKinlay


“All That Remains (aka Dust Bowl) is dust that was on my belongings I rescued from our destroyed art loft (across the street from the World Trade Center in the aftermath of September 11, 2001).”

Created 2001-03

Janette MacKinlay Artist, Activist

Fourth in the series, “9/11: A Survivor’s Story,” All That Remains is made of an aluminum and glass vase, World Trade Center debris and dust, and dried berries. Photographed by Lise Gulassa


On the morning of September 11, 2001, Janette MacKinlay was in her fourth floor art loft at 110 Liberty Street, across from the World Trade Center. Instead of beginning the day at a tower fitness club as usual, she watched stunned as two planes crashed into the Twin Towers. When the towers collapsed, the windows of the loft imploded, dust spewed everywhere. Janette fled, a wet towel over her mouth.

Janette’s “self-prescribed therapy” to heal from the trauma of being “an eyewitness, survivor, and displaced resident of the attacks of September 11, 2001,” is art — creating narrative arrangements — organic assemblages. She fuses her longtime passion for contemporary art and design with a more recent fascination with Ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arranging.

The Dust

“The return to the place was hell.. a living hell. We knew what to expect because we had seen it about an hour after the towers came down, but it was still a grim reality that had to be faced. There was a layer of dust on everything,” Janette wrote in her book, FORTUNATE: A Personal Diary of 9/11. Eerily, she predicted, “I am going to be haunted by the dust for the rest of my life.” In an honest, inward look, Janette admitted, “The dust seemed to have an emotional impact on me.”

That feeling led her to create All That Remains also called Dust Bowl, a round, see-through container filled with the dust collected from her loft and adorned with fallen petals at the base.

Janette also passed a sample of the dust to physicist Dr. Steven Jones, then a professor at Brigham Young University. His analysis found chips of nanothermite, indicative of high grade explosives. U.S. military laboratories developed and a few defense contractors produce the sophisticated explosive. Analyses of the dust from Janette and other samples by an international team of scientists point to explosives planted in the towers, not jet fuel as the government maintains, demolishing the towers.

But, in a cruel twist, the dust now expresses in yet another way in Janette’s life. In January, she was operated on for a fast growing brain tumor, the kind her doctor said is “associated with construction workers.” More than 800 first responders and others working and living near Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11 have died from the toxic dust; thousands more are sick.

February 19, around the time Janette underwent surgery for the tumor, 1000 architects and engineers (Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth) citing the dust findings along with other evidence, called on Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct a federal grand jury investigation of Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) officials, alleging they proffered “fraudulent accounts” in their reports on the towers’ destruction on 9/11.


Educating herself about 9/11 was also part of Janette’s healing from its shockwave. The exploration connected her with the 9/11 truth group in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she also has a home. She hosted benefit events with 9/11 organizations across the country, sharing her journey from terror to awareness and action, shepherding others from denial to discovery.

Just as symbols are the rudimental elements of dreams, Janette uses dynamic images to narrate her 9/11 passage. Just as dreams can singularly tell a story, Janette believes artistic expression holds special communicative power. She told me in April, 2009, at an exhibit of her second post-9/11 collection at the Claudia Chapline Contemporary Art Gallery, the experience of creating and showing Organic Assemblages marked the culmination of her emotional healing from September 11, 2001.  As she described each object in the exhibit, her vibrancy, accentuated with an iridescent blue streak in her hair, and the bright colors and iconic images conferred testament.

Now, her speech sometimes garbled, Janette creates more organic narratives, once again calling upon her art to disclose and to mend. To honor Janette, her attachment to the truth, her quiet activism, the beauty of her art and of her being, PDJ is featuring All That Remains, a bowl filled with dust from the collapse of the Twin Towers, a waking dream-like, layered emblem of 9/11.

Most of all, we send Janette — friend, heroine, maker of beauty — massive doses of healing energy.

– Joyce Lynn

3 Responses to “DANGEROUS DEBRIS”

  1. Tonya Miller Says:

    I had met both you and Janette at the 911 Truth conference in Chicago in 06′. I met you going in & out of an elevator at the hotel. You had asked what brought me to question 911 and I had mentioned that only about a month prior had I chanced upon info in the internet that jarred my remembrance of a dream I had the night before. A dream about the twin towers and then while on the internet that day I saw a link about the towers while looking for something else and clicked and began my journey. It was a heartbreaking one, a pill I didn’t want to swallow but the truth that we had all been lied to was undeniable after a full evening and early morning hours of watching & reading and rejecting and trying to defend the official account just couldn’t stack up against what info I was just now learning about.

    That is what led me to the conference and to seek 911 truth.
    You told me you were writing a book about dreams connected to 911 and I told you about my best friend from High School who had lives just across the Hudson in Jersey and had witnessed from his atrium windows in the living room which look over the NYC skyline, he witnessed the second plane fly into the tower. He had been awakened by his mother after she saw what had occurred on the news and called him. He took the phone and went to the window and watched it unfold. I had tried to call him knowing he lived in worked in the area and after finally reaching him (phones lines were a mess) he was noticeably very shaken and told me about how he had reoccurring dreams for a long long time–years I believe he said—these nightmares were of planes crashing into buildings. He couldn’t understand and now this happens.
    You had asked me to get a hold of you with this rememberance so you may include in your book you were planning but my friend does not want reminded of this so I was not to ask hi to recount this, which is sad because it is an account I think is extremely interesting. To this day he avoids the whole thing.

    And Janette, Janette is great. I heard her story at the conference and the dust that she collected. Wow! That has been explosive to say the least. I have followed Dr. Steven Jones work and the evidence he is able to extract from that dust she provided will be pivotal in setting the truth free about what happened that day. I thank God for her and coming forward with what she had and providing samples. During Dr. Jones presentations he mentions how the dust was pushed with such force that it made its way through crevices of the window sills and orbs and other particulates of the dust are amazingly able to tell us what was used to cause the destruction of those towers.

    One day the mainstream media’s censorship and failure to do its job will be known. Thank you Janette for your work, it is telling, it is healing, and I will send positive energy your way. I wish you peace.

  2. joyce Says:

    EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m posting this beautiful note written recently from a San Francisco labor worker and friend of Janette’s. Please watch his profound video linked below for a sense of the continuing devastation of 9/11:


    I am an ironworker and was starting to work with Janette on New York issues —we are about to start a job at kaiser Redwood City, building a large steel canopy over the front entrance, and I will be dedicating this project to Janette, will weld her initials on the steel
    please consider sharing her the long effort to get HR 847 S 1334 out of House Committee attained a 33-14 vote last week and we will be going to the full house

    this video was produced after some conversations I had with Janette at Grand Lake about Liberty Street –if OK please share with her–she is not alone, we believe over 40000 people from Lower Manhattan share her experienceshttp://animoto.com/play/61oXRd9umpcC489g70OZqg?autostart=true

  3. Joyce Lynn Says:

    We honor you,

    Janette MacKinlay