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Poem by Vesna:

every single day
she does it her way
she is flying free
his beautiful lady

every single day
she comes out to play
she starts to bloom
looking for more room

every single day
constraints are in the way
but rather than feeling a rage
she leaves the birdcage

every single day
he teaches her to stay
to take the food from his hand
on his shoulder stand

every single day
they dance, swirl and sway
they rock and roll and swing
together they sing


This painting formed first as a black ink drawing entitled “Eve Reborn as the Phoenix,” in which a woman sits, trapped high in a tower on her fancy throne, regally dressed. A cat (witch’s familiar?) prances out from beneath her skirts. Closer inspection shows the beard of the devil poking out underneath what is clearly a mask, which then draws attention to the fact that her carefully coiffed hair is actually a horn. The devil, dressed as a temptress: the story of Eve.

The tower sits in deep space, and the clock behind her is a space-time clock. She is Eve, always Eve and nothing else: thus all we see is a devil under a mask; there is no other story for her, no personality, no trait particular to her, no “face” of her own. And it is “always and forever” this way.
But then we see her throne has come to life. Behind her, a nest bursts from the back of the chair, and its maker, a creature that is half-woman, half-bird, has grown too big for its confinement: she spreads her wings to fly. Flying would be the only way out, because the only way out is up. It is a rebirth.

In the digital painting, the castle began to crumble…
And when I turned to the canvas, the tale changed more. I skipped altogether the patriarchal myth of the woman’s place in the story of the world, and instead went further back, to the tree itself.
Forget the apple tree.
Trees are important in shamanic cultures, as their branches stretch up to the sky, allowing the priest or the shaman to climb into the Upper Worlds and speak with the Powers that Be, or to crawl down its roots into the underworld to negotiate matters there. Branches and roots also spread horizontally through the human world, the roots holding together the earth against erosion.
“A common motif [in Shamanism] is the Tree of Life, the axis mundi, or ‘world pole,’ whose roots are deep in the earth and whose branches disappear into the sky…The World Tree is a representation of reality, located at a point considered to be the center of the world, as well as the connection between worlds in many traditional legends” (Shamanism: an Encyclopedia of world beliefs, practices, and culture, vol 2).
The idea of rebirth is inherent in the tree itself, as a single tree cycles through budding spring, the fullness of summer, fall, and the death of winter in the same bodily shell. And in shamanic cultures, all plants have spirits. The soul of this tree is female. Instead of being trapped from the world in a tower in space, she floats in space as a complete world. Her roots form upwards into the copper bars of a cage which, as they become flesh, soften, become malleable, and a single chick can be seen escaping. The roots also meld upwards into younger, greener shoots which blossom into winter hellebores, or—to the right—thin into feathers to form a bird, just ghosting into existence, transcending one form to take on another. Above her, an almost completely articulated bird pulls itself out of a branch of her hair.

Tags

zoe jordan, trees, birds, vesna

Comments

  • Vesna *
    Vesna *over 3 years ago

    ahhh here eyes
    they can not be in any kind of cage
    I adore the blue background
    Wonderful work zoe!

  • i adore you :)
    hvala :)

    – zoequixote

  • catherine walker
    catherine walkerover 3 years ago

    lovely ..well done ,beautiful!

  • thank you :)

    – zoequixote

  • rodeorose
    rodeoroseover 3 years ago

    OUTSTANDING work dear Zoe- beautiful story and feel to this!!

  • TheWanderingBoo
    TheWanderingBooover 3 years ago

    beautiful artwork

  • LoneAngel
    LoneAngelabout 3 years ago

    way cool .. would love to see it in my group .. Mystical Magical Creatures

  • thank you :))

    – zoequixote

  • Madalena Lobao-Tello
    Madalena Lobao...almost 3 years ago

    Wow!!! Very well done!
    Great artwork!

  • Maree Cardinale
    Maree Cardinalealmost 3 years ago

    Wow what a fascinating read and a wonderful image!

  • eoconnor
    eoconnoralmost 3 years ago

    MAGICAL CREATIVE AND BEAUTIFUL !!lIZ

  • Mui-Ling Teh
    Mui-Ling Tehalmost 3 years ago

    Very fascinating. Interesting story too. Without reading I wouldn’t have realised the woman was a devil in disguise, but seeing it more carefully it is very intriguing, and I love the way you take us through a sort of metamorphosis.

  • Freijanez
    Freijanezalmost 3 years ago

    Wonderful both
    painting and words!

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