MORTAL VESTIGE, IMMORTAL FLIGHT
There is a dichotomy to our existence, that of our flesh and that of soul. The nature of man’s flesh is ephemeral; through aging, pain, and death our ultimately impermanent state of being transforms. During our measured years on earth this perishable vessel we inhabit intersects with the everlasting being of our soul. Though our flesh feels pain, emotional anguish, and the certainty of death, the existence of our soul gives rise to the possibility of perfection, spiritual healing, and eternal existence without pain or decay.
I began this series of work after being involved in a car accident several years ago. Along with many other long lasting soft tissue injuries, the accident resulted in my suffering chronic migraines. Daily pain has become part of my routine, and a spiritual stumbling block. Pain and suffering is one of the hardest things to understand within the Christian tradition; why is it that we hurt, that we age and die, and how does that fit into the promise of everlasting life that has been given to believers? I began an artistic spiritual journey exploring what it means to live this mortal life, while trying to discover faith in Gods promise of perfection in heaven.
I collect scripture that is relevant to my investigation, then break it down into symbolic elements; bone in death, rope to bind, circles as the unending perfection of a triune God. I then take those symbols and reconstruct them into an illustration of the scripture’s emotional import. I chose to use encaustic mixed medium for its flesh-like quality, its flexibility, and its immediacy of process. The subject matter I work with is intrinsically about the passage of time, and encaustic is an inherently time based medium. Melting wax is time consuming, yet is cools very quickly so decision and mark making is by necessity fast. The work then needs to be dug back into, marks erased, reworked, changed, and the layers build to become like the passage of time itself. The choice of medium becomes a symbol of dichotomy in its material, both permanent in wax, as well as transitory in the nature of other materials such as hair and the time taken to create each piece, each piece becomes both flesh and soul, mortal and immortal.