The Memory of Seeds & Dark Feather

When I made Pomegranate & Lime Cupcakes on Saturday I acquired two halves of a pomegranate which fit together perfectly.

drawing5

I took the halves and a jackdaw feather to my Monday morning drawing class.  I decided to draw with charcoal and go large.

This weekend, Steve and I watched a programme on Ice Age Art and saw cave paintings of hand prints which have been dated to as far back as 40,800 years ago.  According to the commentary, they are believed to be the hands of women.  I found this painting profoundly moving as it is made by the art making ancestors of us all and that it is of hands.  The artist’s hands are, for the most part, what manifest her or his creative ideas.  This artwork is where it all began!

Handprints at the El Castillo cave in Spain, where paintings have been dated to as far back as 40,800 years ago. (Credit: Pedro Saura)

Handprints at the El Castillo cave in Spain. (Credit: Pedro Saura)

One of today’s drawings is the pomegranate half. While I was working on it, in addition to how the inside actually appeared, how I remembered the seeds came into it.  I drew a double line of dots to separate the now from my memory and then the hand of the ancestral artist came into it.  My hand.

The Memory of Seeds, detail

The Memory of Seeds, detail

On my way to the class this morning, my friend and I talked about the need for ceremony and ritual in times of transition and to mark life passages.  Organised religion and the Church have tried to meet these needs; there are non-traditional or self-invented alternatives as well.

My pomegranate was looking a bit lost on the page, so I started to draw a Chartres style labyrinth in the background.  I have been using a labyrinth as a walking meditation for a number of years.  It is a metaphor for the Inner Journey and a way to find the centre within.

I love the juxtaposition of the empty pomegranate, a void partially filled with memories, and the surrounding labyrinth.   I was drawing from memory and I ran out of time, so it isn’t the most brilliantly executed labyrinth arc ever.  I probably won’t go back and finish this particular drawing but I am very compelled by the combination and will be revisiting it again.

The Memory of Seeds, 84 x 59cm, charcoal

The Memory of Seeds, 84 x 59cm, charcoal

My other drawing is this feather, with a haiku.

Dark Feather, 59 x 84cm, charcoal

By the way, for your viewing pleasure, I’ve pulled the five segments together from Ice Age Art – A Culture Show Special here:

I find the presenter’s style somewhat irritating, but it is a good overview of the artwork and a preview of the British Museum exhibition Ice Age Art: Arrival of the Modern Mind.  Which I am definitely going to see later on this Spring.

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