Original mixed media on paper
26 H x 40 W inches
copyright, Denise Weaver Ross
This was the first painting I made of the series
Layer One – The Queen of Hearts from the traditional deck of playing cards.
Layer Two – The three of swords from the Tarot in which shows three swords pierce the heart. A beautiful symbol of heartbreak, loss, and of course grief.
Layer Three – A diagram of an actual heart transplant in which the surgeon connects the two hearts before removing the malfunctioning or dying heart — a symbol of how opening ourselves up to a new heart (and potential pain) can heal and bring new life to a person who has been grieving. I had already used this image in an earlier work and it was natural to use it again here.
Layer Four – Finally, in looking for another image related to the idea of transplanting, I stumbled across the image from the Egyptian temple painting at the Deir el-Bahri temple commemorating a Egyptian female Pharaoh that brought peace and prosperity to Egypt. She undertook an expedition to Punt (probably what is currently known as Somalia) to acquire frankincense and myrrh trees, which were used in Egyptian burial rites and also two of the gifts to the Christ child brought by the three wise men. I thought this was a significant symbol of both death and rebirth.
In overlaying the images the tree being transplanted and then planted lined up the two hearts and at the same time the three swords from the Tarot image went through the figures of the men transplanting the trees. I eliminated one of the figures to make a single central figure representing my late husband.
I have been fascinated with Egyptian art ever since my art school days and this first painting led to my incorporation of both Egyptian and Tarot imagery throughout the Heart Suit.