If you can recall back to one of my last post, I tried to leave little hints here and there as to what was on the work bench in the studio. I mentioned briefly that my MAJOR piece had to do with Celtic symbols and nature. I have to say, I think I accomplished what I set out to do and much, much more. In fact, the final piece probably really belongs in a museum, as my husband has playfully suggested with his approval. I seriously poured my heart and soul into this entire piece of work because the message was so important for me to share with the viewer. Once the process of creating this one had began, it encompassed my life to the point I could not get a descent night sleep until it's completion! Which in fact, ended up being just a few short days prior to me leaving for the Quinlan Doll and Teddy Bear show in Philadelphia! Of course, I admit, I was also working on the other 2 lesser pieces along the way too, so it took me a little longer than I had expected to get them all completed at the same time for the show.
For this posting, I only want to share the one major piece because it is deep in symbolism and it's story takes a bit to mull over. Along side the story about the meaning of the piece, I will also share photos of the completed piece. I hope you like the finished piece and the message behind it. I would love your feed back on what you think about it...for good or for bad. :-D So don't be shy! In a few days, I will share photos of the other pieces that I completed so you can enjoy those as well.
But for now here is the MAJOR piece!
"Allegory of Life: The Four Seasons"
"Allegory of Life: The Four Seasons" is a story telling piece that holds a lot of symbolism in it's details. The story is told by the dryads that represent the four different seasons and it is about the cycle of life that we all must live.
The center tree is the "tree of life" which stretches above to the heavens to remind us that we must have some form of spirituality in our lives. The leaves on the tree of life are shaped into the "trinity knot" to represent the “father, the son and the holy spirit" or from a pagan perspective, the father, the mother and the earth. The leaves are grouped into sets of three to emphasize how important spirituality is to us as we grow. It doesn't matter what branch or form of religion we chose, what matters is that we find spirituality in our lives some place.
There are 12 trunks on the tree; these represent the 12 calendar months, the 12 tribes, and the 12 apostles. The acorns represent the male aspect of nature, they are the seeds of life, and also the members of our family in our own family trees.
As we go down the trunk of the tree, we see many spirals. These spirals represent spiritual awareness and expansion of thought, which is necessary in order to grow in our lives. This information is constantly changing and ever flowing, so these details are painted in blue, because it is an element of water, which, like water, it is always moving.
The roots of the tree reach deep into the earth because it is how it brings forth life to those above and also remind us that we too, will eventually be returned to the earth to replenish the ground; ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
Our seasons on earth begin in the Spring with the acorn that falls to the ground where it spreads out it's roots into the ground and starts to grow. Hopefully growing strong as an oak.
Then, we move toward Summer, which is our teenage years in life. We have fun in the summer sun! We are not well rooted in the ground, our hair is wild and flowing in the wind and we are carefree. No worries and no direction and our knowledge of life is just starting to sprout (as indicated by the trunk on top of her head). But, even still, there are stepping stones behind the Summer dryad, and she knows that this is her path she must take in life and that one day she must follow them toward her future.
Which now our story brings us to Fall. Here, we find a very pregnant dryad, a mature woman who is ready to reap the full harvest of her life. She is an apple tree and reaches upward to pluck an apple from her very branches, since the apple represents knowledge, this tells us that she is very aware of where she is in her life and she is ready to reap the rewards of her hard work in her life.
Then, we move onward to our Winter months in life where you find a very dear and lonely elderly dryad woman. She is alone and her surroundings are cold. This is the time of our lives where perhaps our spouse has left us behind or our children have grown up and left the nest. We are alone in our world with only the pillars of our community to lean on, we might find some comfort in them, but still, they are not the family we prefer and so, we are still alone. But the elder dryad knows that all is not lost. As she falls apart, and her branches fall to the ground around her in the snow covered earth, she knows that her death will replenish the earth's soil and will revive it so that Spring can once again flourish. Her family tree will continue to grow in her memory. She knows this to be true because the stone she leans toward is a very ancient stone. It is the Hag stone, the Witches stone, or the Fairy stone. Legend has it, that if you find a stone with a hole in it, if you peer through it, you can see into the future. So, this ancient stone is turned towards Spring and it is here that the wise and elder dryad can peer into the future and see that Spring is only around the corner and the earth will be as it once was when she was just a small acorn her self.
The very base of the entire piece is also significant and symbolic. It is encompassed by a Celtic knot work circle, the “circle of life”. This tells us that there is no ending and no beginning to the circle of life, that it is ever flowing. The entire piece has been placed on a lazy susan (spinning wheel) so that the piece can spin continuously in a circle. This is to remind us that we live on a world that is constantly spinning and that even though we all take a different path in life and may experience different types of lives, that we will all live through the same cycles just as the four seasons, we have a beginning and ending, but the cycle will always continue, never stopping and never changing.
And now, the photos! (click on the pictures for a larger view)
|Entire tree of life, "Spring" side view.|
|Entire tree of life, "Summer" side view.|
|Entire tree of life, "Fall" side view.|
|Entire tree of life, "Winter" side view.|
|Details of the acorns seeds and trinity knot leaves.|
|Yard stick showing size.|
|Total pieces measures about 31" tall.|
|Another measurement picture.|
|Another measurement of the piece and a little detail of the wood burned Celtic knot work for the Circle of Life on the base.|
As always, thank you for following along here at The Pixie Knoll. Check back again soon for more pictures of the other completed pieces and some from the trip to Philly and back again!
Have a great day folks!