Last Saturday morning I put "Body Wisdom" into the Hygienic Art Gallery's thirtieth annual Salon des Independants Show. This is a sort of art free-for-all whose motto is "No Judge, No Jury, No Fees, No Censorship." What better place to break some rules and break new artistic ground for myself.
It was the first time I'd shown my work simply to make a statement, as opposed to displaying work with potential customers in mind.
I designed a display card using Photoshop to place with the sculpture.
The display card repeats the words encircling the top and bottom of the vessel. Between these it adds words taken from my song "El Dia de los Muertos" for a reflection on the relationship between body and spirit.
Beneath the title the card reads:
STRENGTH WISDOM PATIENCE
with speculum and stethoscope
take blood in vials
make patient files
I'm more than these.
BALANCE PASSION HEALING JOY
"El Dia de los Muertos" was written several years ago, but I feel the linking of its sentiments to an earthen vessel made by hand just a few months ago to be grounding, healing, hopeful. The words in bold type stand guard between my own physical vessel of Self and the practiced guesswork of MDs.
Other elements of the display are equally emblematic.
The pink scarf is wrapped around the display box as an expression of solidarity with women engaged in the fight against breast cancer. By extension, it is also symbolic of the power of a caring embrace to ease human physical suffering.
[Lest some worry about my health, let me say that I'm generally in good repair.]
The brown wooden box the sculpture rests upon represents the sturdy structure of medical knowledge, a structure left empty inside to reflect the medical community's traditional neglect of the things beyond the physical.
We are not simply body or spirit. We are both. We are an integrated whole.
Health and illness are equally mysterious.
I am more than these.
We each are.
(c)2009 Kay Pere ~ Effusive Muse Publishing