H A T C H E D
EGGS & ANOMALIES
April 28 to May 13, 2023
Tuesday to Saturday
Noon to 5 pm
My latest series are coloured pencil drawings on black paper.
These works manifested through a very meditative and contemplative approach to my art making. The simplicity of the eggs and stones, and the quiet practice of hatching and crosshatching with pencils, was peaceful work during a time of strange insularity. The egg’s inherent symbolism inspired me to focus on the wisdom of incubation and inevitable renewal. And the fractured shapes were a reminder that we may need to be “broken to open” as a friend eloquently acknowledged.
The egg is an ancient symbol of creation and birth. It figures in myths of creation from the Vedic to Christian mystic Hildegard of Bingen’s vision of the cosmos in the shape of an egg. Clay eggs were found in prehistoric tombs in Russia and Sweden, possibly left as an “emblem of immortality”. The egg represents potential, rebirth, Spring and hope. At the same time the actual shells are fragile, breakable: a visual remnant of energy flown. Eggshells tell the story of breakthroughs and beginnings, and simultaneously ruptures and shattering.
Visually I found the variety and colour of the eggs captivating – the cool bluish white of the inner shell contrasting with the ochre and sienna tones of the outer shell. The infinite fractures and cracks were fascinating to draw, however these drawings are not “still lives” and the eggs do not sit quietly on a table. The repeating, reflective circles suggest celestial bodies, and the residue of yellow yolk could allude to solar energy. In some of the images the eggs float and swirl, weightlessly constellating and congregating in an abstract black space of possibility. Other images have a mysterious, talismanic aspect, a quality of divination with allusions to card or tarot suits (cartomancy) or the casting of stones (lithomancy).
Years ago my Danish grandfather, Bedstefar, gave me flints and arrowheads he had found on walks in his village’s neighbouring fields. I remember at age nine, sitting on the carpet in my Mom’s childhood home looking at Bedstefar’s treasured collection of artifacts. The object I wanted the most was a fossilized egg, which he eventually gave me. To this day this “stone egg” remains one of my most precious objects.
The Egg is a reminder of the magic of life force, yet individually, an egg is both transient and common. An egg fossilized forever in stone is potentiality solidified. I feel I have come full circle from my childhood fascination with a petrified egg to creating these pencil drawings of fragile eggshells.
With respect and homage to the great cosmic mystery of the Egg.