I have to admit, I don't actually celebrate Easter, but I was raised with Easter baskets, dyed eggs, and that sort of thing - just none of the religious meaning. My siblings and I were not raised with any religious training or belief system. Well, I take that back; our training was to not have a belief system that involved religion. We were *taught* that to follow a religion was a kind of weakness, or cop out. I'm not saying this is true, or even that my parents still think this, but that's the message we heard, loud and clear, growing up. My dad came from a very active Italian catholic family, and my mom was WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) through and through. We didn't go to church on sundays, but for a time we went to something called the Ethical Society. Peace marches and civil rights were our religion, and 'playing' protest a childhood memory. Marching around the dining room with our handmade signs that read "Nixon needs Fixin'" and "DUMP the HUMP"... Okay, I date myself!
Anyway, Easter got me thinking about and pondering it's meaning, which led me to the word resurrection, and I love words. I feel a lot of my artwork is about resurrection, indirectly. I take cast offs and renew them to create new work, as a lot of artists out there do. As I looked at the table in my studio, a kind of altar like space, I realized that the majority of items on it are what others might call 'dead' items - bones, fossils, rocks, insect carcasses, feathers, empty seed pods, broken pottery and glass shards - I'm sure they are recognizable as collectable and treasured items to many of you! 'Dead' and resurrected as pieces of treasure, right?
What is their value? Why do they call to us?
What is that life that is still within them, or that we re-infuse into them?
verb [ trans. ]
restore (a dead person) to life : he queried whether Jesus was indeed resurrected.
• revive the practice, use, or memory of (something); bring new vigor to : the deal collapsed and has yet to be resurrected.
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: back-formation from RESURRECTION.
This is one of my favorite bones, referred to as the crucifix bone, because of it's rather uncanny resemblance to Christ on the crucifix. My husband (the one time altar boy!) said it would have been more appropriate to post it on Good Friday, to which I retorted that no - I was resurrecting it, and giving it new life as art and discussion topic today!
I leave you with a sampling of the assorted bones I've collected over the years. Some have made it into artwork, as you saw in my Bone Nest and video, but I need to do a whole lot more to use them all up!