Understanding the symbolism of images helps deepen an understanding of the work. By layering imagery, I am able to carry meaning into each composition and consider what the work is exploring.
Bees commonly represent bounty and industry, while the social structures of the hive reference the importance of matrilineal relationships. Honey is symbolic of the sweetness of life and the fruits of labor, qualities I emphasize in contrast to the concerns of loss and mortality investigated elsewhere in my work.In Celtic mythology… the presence of a bee after a death signified the soul leaving the body.
Custom holds that kept bees must be informed of major happenings in their keeper family’s life- Thus the ritual of “telling the bees' ' about major life events to prevent them from absconding. The bees must be kept informed of birth, marriage and death. While the traditions varied from country to country, “telling the bees' ' always involved notifying the insects of a death in the family—so that the bees could share in the mourning. https://daily.jstor.org/telling-the-bees/
Anxiety, tension, and entanglement. That feeling expressed by the phrase “My stomach was in knots” Also an allusion to the fable of the Gordian knot. From Wikipedia:
The Gordian Knot is an Ancient Greek legend of Phrygian Gordium associated with Alexander the Great. It is often used as a metaphor for an intractable problem (untying an impossibly tangled knot) solved easily by finding an approach to the problem that renders the perceived constraints of the problem moot. According to legend, Alexander solved the knot by cutting it free with his sword.
Observatories are places of solitude, where scientists search the depths of the universe in an effort to better understand the workings of the universe. They are places of deep inquiry and sustained looking. I use them as an analogue to the studio practice, which is a philosophical search for understanding- a look for deeper questions rather than answers.
The observatory image I use is based on an image of the Sphinx observatory in Switzerland, by By Eric Hill from Boston, MA, USA.
Whimsical and hopeful, paper airplanes represent longing.
I fold my worries into paper planes, I turn them into flying fucks.
Pomegranates are a loaded symbol reaching to ancient times. Referencing classical myth immediately brings connections to Persephone, and thus incorporates themes of mortality and loss while also alluding to the primacy of the mother daughter relationship. Some believe the pomegranate to be the forbidden fruit in place of the apple, a connection that, along with the tale of Persephone, reinforces the pomegranate as temptation leading to ruin while asserting the presence of the divine feminine. At the same time, pomegranates represent a bountiful profusion. The fruit’s multitude of seeds also holds symbolic power as a conveyer of fertility and abundance. One example is the eating of the fruit during Rosh Hashanah, when “by eating the pomegranate, we express our wish for a year filled with as many merits as a pomegranate has seeds.” (Shurpin) These connotations of both abundance and loss are heightened by the physical appearance of the pomegranate: glistening like a cache of garnets, when cut, its juices run like blood.
The vanity of life and the inevitability of death.
I find the human examination of the stars and creation of sky charts to be a fascinating and apt metaphor for an arrogant yet almost endearingly human understanding of the universe. The act of cataloging and charting is inherently an act of control. A sky map literally seeks to order the cosmos, to number, place, and understand the movements of the universe. I find this to be an act of both vanity and desperation- the vanity of thinking you can comprehend the infinite, and the desperation to feel that the universe is an orderly, and thus controllable, predictable, place. When you consider that the constellations of the northern hemisphere- and thus those that are in the skies of my home- are explained in terms of Greek mythology, this metaphor is reinforced.
The Greeks were among the first to create gods in their own image, and the stories of these deities are filled with very mortal emotions and motivations. Pride, desire, vanity, bravery, defeat, and triumph are all reflected in the myths associated with the constellations. Indeed, the stories of the creation of the constellations are at heart the idea of being set apart- set in the stars, worthy of remembrance. And then the arrogance of a human-centered understanding of the universe reasserts itself: The arrangement of the stars has meaning only when standing on earth. From any other vantage, this arbitrary collection of points of light loses any supposed resemblance to its attributed mythological associations.
Scissors are both creative and destructive, they violently separate essential from nonessential. They are an extension of the hand, and imbued with decisive action.
Traditionally used in embroidery, stork scissors were originally found in the kits of midwives and used for cutting and clamping umbilical cords. As there is often a lot of waiting involved in labor, to pass the time the midwife would often have her embroidery in the kit as well. The stork scissors made the jump from the medical to textile usage in this way.
Reminiscent of the empty husks of seed pods, arranged in grids to elicit a disgust response. Trypophobia is an aversion to the sight of irregular patterns or clusters of small holes or bumps. Most affected people mainly experience disgust but not fear when they see trypophobic imagery. (from Wikipedia)