The experience of my injury has placed me upon a solitary path. I find myself alone, so often now, even amongst others.
And it has redefined my approach to my art, as I must take an introspective journey to explore the world around me. It is reflected in my pieces, which must invariably be experienced through deconstruction - by looking inwards.
But an inward journey can reveal the entire universe…
Fn = Fn-1 + Fn-2
for n>=2, F0 = 0, F1 = 1
Contained within the fossilized ammonoids that form the buttocks of this beautiful piece, is a blueprint from the universe: the Golden Ratio, Phi.
Derived from Fibonacci’s famous sequence of numbers, this mysterious ratio is manifested everywhere in the wonderful formations of nature. From the swirl of our galaxy and the unfurling of leaves around a branch, to the curl of a fetus forming in the womb, and of course, to the beautiful spiral of the ammonoid.
But while the visual manifestations of Phi are easily evident, I often wonder if the very nature of our thinking, the unfolding of our destinies or our connections to the past may also follow the pattern of this extraordinary sequence. That as we look deeply into ourselves, the proof and comprehension of our very existence, our physical, social and emotional ontogeny, may be discovered through a kind of recursive descent to our primordial beginnings.
When we examine the internal structure of Ammondea’s buttocks, it reveals this wonderful spiral growth of the cephalopods, recorded by the increments of each newly generated cell.
The ammonoid uses a siphuncle, that threads through each and every chamber, to control its buoyancy, by either letting in air or water to its historical chambers.
And perhaps, just as each old chamber is sealed off and forever carried, so it is that our own threaded histories are walled off, but forever a part of us.
Perhaps unfurling according to the rules of Phi, we navigate our destinies, rising and falling as we tap into the wonderful and sometimes terrible past that forms the magnificent structure of woman.
Her torso, formed from a steenbok skull, has been breached on one side, with the organs exposed.
Her liver (Chama coralloides), has slipped out from the safety of her abdomen and sunk down into the cradle of her hip. Lifting open its silver door a little pearl gallbladder lies hidden in the folds.
The front of her body displays a tiny beaver skull for her reproductive system. Fallopian tubes of silver attach to the ovaries (hearing cochlea) as the nasal passages form the vagina with a ring of silver for its entrance. The orange incisors nicely form her labial slit and underneath, from behind, we can just make out a silver urethra.
Depicted as treasure and adorned with sterling silver, the amusement that her ‘Beaver’ is a beaver, is overshadowed by the realization that her flesh has been torn open from the top of her legs, exposing the vulvar region and laying bare the injuries of what must have been sexual violence.
Opening the small silver hatch on the back of the uterus, reveals a tiny fragile heart (brachiopod), developing inside.
Within it, resides a tiny beetle larva. It is Diamphidia Nigroornata - prized by traditional hunters in parts of Africa for the making of poisoned arrows.
This little heart has been poisoned. And although she is giving birth to love, it is now pierced by her suffering and sorrow.
But she is irrepressible and dancing, as wonder and delight illuminate her passage and transform the anguished pleading of her outstretched arms, into the graceful movement of a courageous choreography.
Through the opening in the arch of her back, we can explore the internal organs.
The urinary tract is constructed from sterling silver and the bladder is also a little bell - because she “tinkles” and because the parts of her that are both delightful and delicate, remain in spite of her injury.
Her esophagus, stomach, pancreas and spleen, constructed from pearls and sea worm tube, can be removed as a single unit.
Behind it, her heart is nestled between her lungs. Inside, amidst fragments of the cast off larval shell of the Diamphidia Nigroornata, in the form of a beautiful opal, she cherishes her hope.