Unlike the religious icons portrayed in previous works, this series examines the darker natures of saintly iconography. The animals, as saints, perform as a group the final act of all good saints when their life’s work comes to little success; they seek to complete it with their deaths.  The martyrdom of these animals, therefore, replaces the altruistic hopes of those in previous works as it becomes clear that intercessions in life will not suffice.  As with saints in other milieus, these animals are willing to give up their earthly lives for their messages to sound clearly.  Some of these animals are portrayed as ascending bodily in flames while others leave relics of themselves behind in their taxidermic forms.  The symbolism inherent in the dusk and flames bleakly conjures, as it is meant to, overtones of death in general, but perhaps more importantly the apocalyptic nature of the situation these creatures, and we, find ourselves.  They remind us that like them we too shall perish if their messages are truly ignored.

 

Of note, the bee as the symbol of life and fecundity is mostly absent.  In this collection the egg is the nearest thing to such a stand in.  A quieter, more tentative sort of optimism than the frantic fulfillment that the bee represents, the egg is guarded against the predators that roost in these altar pieces.  It is a patient sort of life that in the end may not bear fruit without intentional care on the part of its keeper.  It is just this care that the martyrdom portrayed herein hopes to engender.

 

 

Holy Ghost Triptych, 2009

Encaustic and Egg tempera on board

60” x 84”

 

 

Mystic Fox Triptych, 2009

Encaustic and Egg tempera on board

60” x 84”

Owl Triptych, 2009

Encaustic and Egg tempera on board

68” x 48”

Saint Peter Triptych, 2009

Encaustic and Egg tempera on board

68” x 48”

 

 

Tree of Life Triptych, 2009

Encaustic and Egg tempera on board

84” x 72”

 

Flame Hare, 2009

Encaustic and Egg Tempera on board

36” in diameter

 

 

Mystic Coyote, 2009

Encaustic and Egg tempera on board

24” x 36”

 

 

Day and Night, 2009

Encaustic and Egg Tempera on board

36” x 60”

 

 

Grass Fire Owl, 2009

Encaustic and Egg tempera on board

48” x 24”