Work output has been slow recently; what with the exhibition looming, and the fact that field has taken over a lot of my time that isn’t already taken up by my job. I feel like I need to create more work at the moment, but at the same time, a lot of concepts are laying around in my mind. The ‘Trinity’ is something that has been brought to the forefront of my mind, specially since I have begun to think about resurrecting the alchemical circles from last year into newer work. This symbol, the ‘Borromean rings’, is something that I’m very interested in. Circles, as spaces, are something I find great interest in, from their connections to the cycle of life, to the womb, to the enclosed spaces I aim to create for myself; to incorporate this simple symbol into a form that showcases the importance of trinity, and the unity of it, seems like something I want to explore more. The rings are symbols of unity, but also, The psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan famously found inspiration in the Borromean rings as a model for his study of human subjectivity; each ring representing a fundamental ‘Lacanian’ component of reality; the real, the imaginary, and the symbolic.
I have also been looking at the circle as being a wehicle for me to express my own ideologies and concepts in a physical form; this circle has become a catalyst for ‘Resurrection’, in the sense of transcendence from one plane to another, or more simply, from this life to the next.
There are two fundamental concepts of resurrection I am interested in relating to this;
– A trinity of universal concepts of Resurrection, symbolised by;
The Ankh = The Egyptian symbol of Immortality, more specifically the Eternal Life aspect of such a concept. Commonly held by deities in the Egyptian Pantheon in order to signify their immortality. If waves across the face of a Dead Pharaoh, it was believed to grant them eternal life.
The Phoenix = A being that cannot die; through Sacrifice, the phoenix burns and then is Reborn from the ashes. As a bird is deemed able to travel amongst the three different realms of this world (Earth, Sea and Sky), it is a symbol of passing from one plane of existence to another. It also references the sun, burning and dying, to create a new, greater sun the following day.
The Three Nails – A symbol of the Crucifixion, it also signifies the sacrifice that Christ took in order to purge sin and be reborn as a purer, higher being.
– As well as the 9 symbols of the Christian Resurrection utilised in a newer version of the Christian Liturgy;
The Jars = Filled with Oils and spices used to Embalm the body; the women who came to do this to Christ’s body were the first to witness the resurrection.
The Stone = The large, heavy stone that covered the entrance to the tomb, which had been removed at the time of Christ’s rebirth.
The Shroud = Reminiscent of the cloth that they utilised to wrap Christ’s lifeless body, so that he could be buried before the Sabbath.
The Flowers = Reminds us that Christ was buried in a Garden, as well as symbolising the beauty of Life.
The Bread = The body of Christ, the food that gives life to us as Humanity.
The Wine = The Blood of Christ, which we drink to bring his being into ourselves.
The Bible = That which has bared witness to the glory of Christ, and his Resurrection.
The Cross = This cross is empty, Christ is no longer attached to it; he is no longer dead, he is risen.
The Candle = The light of Christ, and the unwavering flame.
I began to think about utilising some form of stone to create my alchemical circle this time, instead of the standard chalk that I have utilised in the past. The stone, which in this case is porcelain, gives a certain weight to the actual piece; not only physical, but spiritually as well. The stone is a strange object, once it has been created, it can no longer grow any larger; it can only be reduced, but once it becomes like dust, it starts to become airborne. This concept, much like that of transcendence, plays with the concepts of passing from one plane to the next. It is long, tedious work however, which is an issue.
I have also been to reclaim my ‘cage’ from last year, as I felt enough time had passes since me creating and returning it to it’s previous location, and went to check up on it’s condition. Interestingly, it has been damaged, but it rested on a place where people don’t often go. Who caused this damage to it, and does this affect how the work is perceived? I think so, it has become more like rubbish, and therefore is removed from the realms of a sculpture, and moves more into the realms of a piece of performance art.
I have also returned to the Nails, and have become experimenting with the act of ‘hammering’ the nail. These stones were recovered from various areas around the Colosseum and the Forum, and theoretically, have been there for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. These same stones could have been a part of a building within these areas, and therefore hold a certain power to them; they remind us that all stones have a long and fascinating life span, one which when compared to our own, seems monumental in scope. These objects, once broken, cannot be fixed, are broken by my own interaction. The Nail, here seen as a symbol of fate and time, reflects the ideas surrounding the worship of Nurtia; one day, we shall all be reduced to nothing, but is there anything after that?