gold leaf

The Fetal Crown

Figure Twenty Two.-The Fetal Crown
2018. 15.5”h x 9”w x 9”d.
Human fetal tibias and ulnas, Bronze, Mahogany, Resin, Blown glass, Gold Leaf, Silk, Acrylic, Hardware.

A crown of leaves upon the crown of the head. The cross of mending fetal skull plates and the crossing of bones. Youth and death, the echos within life.

Custom bell jar by Richard Jones at Studio Paran.

Experientia Nostra Ossiferous

Figure Eighteen.- Experientia Nostra Ossiferous (Our Ossiferous Experience)
2014-2018. 19”h x 16.5”w x 16.5”d.
Human mandible, Bronze, Mahogany, Resin, Blown glass, Gold leaf, Silk, Acrylic, Hardware.

Experientia Nostra Ossiferous is a sculpture that blends the forms of the reliquary with the anatomical display. In a parallel sense, it draws its visual inspiration from myth, the Roman god Janus, and a rare congenital defect, diprosopus. Janus is the god of time, beginnings and endings. The Janus Head is characterized by two faces, one looking to the future, one to the past. Diprosopus, also known as cranialfacial duplication, is an extremely rare disorder whereby facial features are replicated to a certain degree.

Bone holds its history and can be read like rings on a tree. As it grows and lengthens, as it breaks and mends, all can be told in diagnostic imaging. The title of the sculpture could be translated to "Our Ossiferous Existence", an existence we all move through, and like the Janus Head, hold one face to the future and one to the past.

Bell jar made by Richard Jones at Studio Paran.

The Ephemeral Knot

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.