Monday, March 29, 2010

The Rays of God: Completed...

Four years ago, I started a body of work entitled, "The Rays of God". At the time, I was very interested in the concept of change and the manifestations of change physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Part of my research and work dealt symbolically with change. I explored the symbol of the butterfly and compared it to patterns in the brain and in bone structures. Chaos Theory and "The Butterfly Effect" depict a hypothetical butterfly over the ocean and causing, through a sort of ripple effect, a hurricane to form thousands of miles away. The idea of such a small creature causing such a big reaction intrigued me. I even filled a room with artificial butterflies hung just above the head on clear filament. With a few arranged mirrors, it looked as though the white room was swarming, endlessly with these creatures. If one butterfly could cause a hurricane, imagine the potential of thousands!

The other half of my research lead me to the human body and studies in anatomy, abnormalities, and evolution. That was probably one of the first times I was introduced to ivory anatomical sculptures popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was all very fascinating and I was charmed by their functions. I was also very curious about the morphology of organs and bones. It was only a matter of time before I descended into the psychology of the brain and discovered the case of Dr. Schreber. If you're not familiar with Dr. Schreber, his story and psychosis were interpreted and evaluated by Sigmund Freud as one of Freud's major case studies. Dr. Schreber believed that "The Rays of God" were transforming him into a woman... and that they were, in some way, making him more perfect. The idea stuck with me.

Thusly, this sculpture was born. It was patterned off of the old anatomical sculptures. In some of them, I filled them with drawings. In others, I left them empty... but in this one, I wanted to fill it with light... with the "rays of god".

I came across the sculpture while I was unpacking. I was saddened that I didn't get to finish my project. That's when my fingers began itching and I couldn't not work on filling up the cavity with crystals and resin.

Not only do the crystals reflect and refract light, but they are also symbolic of perfection. I was curious about what would happen if indeed the "rays of god" changed and manifested in a human being.

Above is a detail of the face. I wanted the figure to be androgynous and neither overtly male nor female. Perhaps, in a weird way, I gave Dr. Schreber exactly what he wanted and needed.

Above is a detail of the crystals and resin arranged within the cavity.

When I came across the sculpture, I knew that I wanted to finish it and so I set about doing just that. It's been years since I worked with many of the concepts, but as I worked on the piece, all of these thoughts and ideas came back... the idea of transformation in different ways and on many levels.

It took years, but "The Rays of God" series is finally complete.


Nicki said...

This is really wonderful. It shines. I love that you went back to it and finished it. If you ever get a chance, while you are in Detroit, go visit the butterfly house in the Detroit zoo. It is a truely magical place.

Joan Tucker said...

Andrew on many levels this feels complete; your own searching for your place in art, your quests for spiritual enlightenment, your humanity
expressed through writing and contact with people, and your compassion
for all. You are a wonder, Andrew Carry carry on. Joan T

jessememan said...

Wow! I can't think of more to say than that...glad you finished it :)

kate mckinnon said...

I loved this. The ivory models are beautiful and disturbing; I had never seen them before. I thought about this post of yours all day yesterday, as I went about my work.

stregata said...

It is fantastic! Wonderful, Andrew!

Amy said...

ahhh!!! this is so great!! I'm so glad you finished it!