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Salome in Art and Poetry

Maud Allen as Salome (1909)
 

This digital comparative essay explores the difference of the character Salome in two literary works. Both are titled after the famous biblical femme fatale, Salome, one written by Oscar Wilde and the other by Ai. Written and created in my “Writing to Know Poetry” class in my senior year of college. It was a collaborative process between myself and another student in the class. Feel free to have a look around the site.

Art and Controversy of September 11th, 2001

September 11th, 2001 has become a day immortalized in the memories of a nation. Early in the morning two planes, hijacked by a group of terrorists, crashed into the World Trade Center towers. The world watched as the two towers fell down in smoke. Although media coverage was swift to censor the events of the attacks, people everywhere can recall the frightening live broadcasts. Never before had the safety of the American people been so systematically compromised. Although terrorist attacks occurred on United States soil before, such as the attack on Pearl Harbor, the lives of civilians hadn’t been jeopardized like they had been on 9/11. Alongside the World Trade Center, the Pentagon was hit, and a fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania, allegedly targeting the White House.

“No building symbolized the neoliberal world order better that the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and no building symbolizes military might in the United States better that the Pentagon. The White House, the target for the third failed attack, would have been the perfect representation of political power” (79, Bleiker).

To comprehend the intensity surrounding 9/11 countless pieces of art have been created to remember, process, and immortalize the events of the day.

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Horned God Diptych

 

A long time ago I found an image in National Geographic of a man holding an elk on his back. The image felt ancient and haunted to me, even though the article was about Canadian hunters and the lives they lived. I searched through magazine until I found other images of deer/human crosses and planned on creating a horned god triptych.

I knew I wanted the colors of the final paintings to compliment the wall colors of my home (which are currently lime green, purple, and teal) and that I wanted the original images to be the main focus. However, once I started playing with the images I realized my original inspiration no longer worked with the other images I found. I ended with a male and female diptych, which are currently in my front hallway. They are mixed media works with a acrylic, oil, watercolor, tissue paper, and the found images.

Horned deities have been present in religion for a long time. In Egypt there was Hathor, Goddess of joy, feminine love, and motherhood. In Greece there was Pan. The Celts created images of the nature god attributed to be Cernunnos. Even Christianity has images of horned beings. In more recent times Horned Deities have come to represent sexuality, fertility, and nature, often becoming the masculine counterpart to the great goddess. I liked the images of the horned male and female, and went with it even though its less conventional. For more images of horned people visit my deer people pinterest board.

Collage from Summer Camp: Inner Landscape

I had the opportunity to go to the Turning the Wheel Summer Workshop again this year. I wasn’t able to attend last year because I was in Paris, and the last time I went was back in 2008. It was nice a cyclical to go back right after graduating from college when the last time I went was right after high school. Everyday there was a chunk of time dedicated to creative playing. The options were Yoga, Drumming, and Collage. I chose to do collage and it turned out to be an adventure into my own creative spirit.

We started the time with a small guided meditation exploring our “inner landscape.” Then, once the meditation was complete, we had access to over 5000 laminated images that had been collected over many years to create a collage of what our journey had revealed to us. We were not allowed to keep the images once our collage was complete, but the facilitators kinkoed the finished creations, and a good friend of mine took a pic with his nice camera.

It was really exciting and refreshing to collage with images that had already been found for us. There were no distracting ads in magazines to mull over and no time was eaten up by cutting and glueing the images down. Instead we simply had to let our eyes wander over the tables overflowing with images, find the ones we liked, and tape them down. Once we chose the images we desired we also had access to a number of words which could be woven into the collage to create poem or infuse meaning. I didn’t end up making a poem, but instead chose words that were meaningful at the time to help me remember what I was thinking when I chose certain images.

Here is my final creation:

Profound Gateway: Bold Doors Entry

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Doorways are inherently magical and you can see their power
mirrored in our language. We stand at the threshold whenever we
reach a right of passage, pass through the gates to all things new
and unknown, then close the door on the past. These metaphors
link together life, death, and creativity which are all held in the
transitional space of doorways. This piece became a place for me,
as an artist, to meditate the meaning of these sayings and the
power they hold.

For my door I wanted to play with the passage of time and in my original sketch I conceived of a maiden/ mother nature figure on one side, and a crone figure on the other. I was unsure of how to include the window, but when I found my heavy purple door at the resource yard I knew it was the one I wanted to work with.

I thought turning the glass into a cave was appropriate because it made me think of passageways, wombs, time travel, and other images that fell within the theme I was wan’t to explore. I ended up using wax to create the stalactite affect on the glass, and then I embellished with beads. The other materials used on my door were Basic Acrylics, found paper and fabric, ModPodge, and ducting tape.

Considering the amount of time I gave myself to complete my rather ambitious vision (a week) I’m pleased. However I knew about and had entered the competition weeks in advance so I should have had plenty of time to complete my concept. School and travel ate up my time instead. All things considered I’m pretty pleased with my first solo step into the professional art world of Boulder.

In The Beginning: A Sound Art Project

In The Beginning
2012
Time: 6:38 
Created for Intro to Sound Art Studio (ARTS 3097)
Professor Dr. George Rivera
 

Statement

I wanted to make a collage of sounds for this project. Most of my art is multimedia and I didn’t want to stray away from that theme for this project. I collected a lot of sounds, some found, some created to blend together and create the ambient soundscape I am presenting. I recorded words from my poetry, lines from Genesis in the Bible, and blended that with found recordings from nature. I was interested in constructing somewhat of a narrative with the aural collage. I narrowed my selection down to these sounds because not only did they sound elegant and beautiful, but they held the eeriness, mystery, and tragedy of the story I wanted to tell, the creation story of Eve, mother of humanity.

I have always been fascinated by the story of Adam and Eve. The Fall of man is such an interesting beginning for humanity because it is full of ambiguity. It is such a short narrative, with very few characters, and the majority of the tale has been left up to the imagination. With so much left unsaid about the creation of man and their fall from paradise, thousands of individuals for generations have looked back and tried to make sense of where we might come from. From God, From a garden, From a rib, From a tree of knowledge, From the deceptions of one lone snake? So many swirling possibilities that I too had to tackle this elusive story with my own interpretations and retell in once again with sound.