February 10, 2019

The Queen Of Wands Contemplates Saturn's Return

The Queen Of Wands Contemplates Saturn's Return, 2019,
 hand-stitched cotton thread on machine-stitched
dish towel remnant, 15.5" x 12.5"

This piece is another of my 'dish towel tapestries', using the mosaic style combined with outline stitching. The idea for it had been brewing in my imagination for a while, but I couldn’t start it until the work for my solo show was finished. During the time I was working on the show I had a three card tarot reading which included the Queen of Wands. I don’t know much about tarot interpretations but I was immediately intrigued by the images on the card and I decided to create my own personalized version of it. The overall composition of The Queen Of Wands Contemplates Saturn's Return is influenced by classical paintings and mosaics, especially the central figure of the queen. I included the traditional symbols of the card: sunflower, black cat, wand, lions - and I added my own: pug, flicker, Saturn.

In the reading, I was told that the Queen Of Wands embodies creativity and living an unconventional life. Here she represents 'the self' - myself - and aspects of the higher self. Her crown is consciousness, its yellow reflected in the yellow of the large sunflower to her left which represents the soul. The stone pug, out of which the sunflower rises, replaces a stone lion in the original version and symbolizes my past and its seemingly concrete life story. The black cat is an obvious archetype of the shadow, or subconscious, and was the first thing that struck me about the card.  Both the wand, a branch with green leaves, and the bird perched on it, symbolize the earth and being grounded and inherently connected to it. I added the flicker in particular because I've often found symbolic meaning in my encounters with them. The planet Saturn represents our human relationship to the cosmos and, personally, its second astrological return. I stitched the two lions as part of the background, almost like clouds, to portray them as ethereal thought forms and emotions. They surround the queen as she takes a break from holding up her wand in one hand, and sunflower in the other, to reflect on her life in a moment of time.

No comments: