Figure Seventeen.- The Ephemeral Knot
2015-2016. 7”h x 19.5”w x 10.5”d.
Bronze, Wood, Resin, Acrylic, Gold leaf, Silk, Hardware.
Something akin to a Memento Mori, The Ephemeral Knot is a sculpture depicting the bridge between youth and death. The child's hand grasps a clavicle bone, the first bone to begin the process of ossification. The clavicle can be regarded as ancient in terms of the body, and here represents time's passing as well as the end of life. The red silk bow is tied around three extensor muscles: Extensor Digitorum, Extensor Digiti Minimi, and Extensor Carpi Ulnaris. These muscles, in general, function to extend the fingers and wrist. Their role here is to illustrate release, a letting go of life. The knot, or bow within this piece, represents life. The loosening of a knot could be seen as the unraveling of existence. Interestingly, the silk bow will be the first component of this piece to decay, as the rest of the materials are far more time stable. Lastly, the snail, with its coiled shell, is another reference to journey and purity.
I wanted to give a special word of thanks to Nova Hansen, who was so willing to participate in the original life casting. Thank you as well to her parents, Leif and Rebekah Hansen. All photographs are by William Lemke.