October 18, 2013

Zoomorphics in paper, wood, fabric and thread

Zoomorphic: having or representing animal forms or gods of animal form.

These mythological human-animal images are found across civilizations and cultures. Here is some of my work that depicts human-animal hybrids. Two of the earlier posts have a human-fish hybrid (Mosaic Work and Paper and Thread).

"Green Tara Sphinx" 2011

The original Greek sphinx has malevolent connotations. With "Green Tara Sphinx" I
created my own hybrid of a sphinx and a Buddhist Goddess. This piece does not reference any particular myth, but rather is open to interpretation. I like what Green Tara represents: she is a Bodhisatva of compassion and action, a protector who comes to our aid to relieve us of physical, emotional and spiritual suffering.

This one of the first sculptures I made using hand stitched images on paper, then applied as mosaic: the design on the animal body is of a scarab and on the wings, a bird.

"Kinnari" 2012

I made this piece for a show entitled "Reclamation" featuring art that re-imagined paintings, sculptures and found objects which have been discarded. I found some wooden objects from a thrift store which I recombined to make this half human half bird. I decided to call it "Kinnari" which is the name for the female version of the half-human half-bird creature from Southeast Asian Hindu mythology. A Kinnari is renowned for her dance, song and poetry, in contrast to the more odious Harpy from Western mythology. The specific meaning is less is important to me than the form itself, and I like that the title connects it to an expanded interpretation which is very different from the Greek version.

The stitched mosaic surface design on the upper body is a bird and on the lower body a primitive female form.

"Chiron" 2013

I titled this piece "Chiron"as both a reference to the Greek myth and to the planet, including its  astrological meaning. Chiron in the Greek myth was a teacher, considered to be intelligent and kind. In astrology, Chiron is symbolized as the "wounded healer". It represents our deepest work to heal our spiritual wounds and our return to greater wholeness, consciousness and love.

I used fabric rather than rice paper and thread applied on the surface and not stitched.

"Al-Buraq Pull Toy" 2013

Al-Buraq is a creature from Persian iconography that has the head of a human and
the body of a horse. I made this as a "pull-toy" with political connotations referring to Iranian culture, Islamophobia, and Western domination.

The surface is rice paper overlaid with hand cut paper and stitched and wrapped thread on paper.