Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I am an artist, educator, loving, transformationist

I've been taking this extraordinary e-course with Kelly Rae Roberts and reading Maya Gonzalez's Claiming Face curriculum which provides an alternative pedagogy for teachers to engage students in learning through creativity and claiming their authentic selves (Kelly also does this in a very different way). So, here goes....

The animals are from my personal symbolic non-hierarchical totemic taxonomy (whew! Taxonomy is a cool word for a system of classifying). My animals are not in any particular order, but they do mean specific things. Beginning at the bottom - the snake is a symbol of transformation because it sheds it's kin, the turtle tells me to slow down and that I carry "home" wherever I go, crocodiles and alligators are ancient survivors and can live both on land and in the water - they also remind me that I need to have a thicker skin at times, elephants with their trunks up signify good luck - they live in herds (community) are very soulful, and also have thick skins. Birds represent flight, the imagination, fragility and the world of ideas, and a mouse with an elephant represent the Indian God Ganesh - "the lord of obstacles" because together they can go absolutely anywhere."  Finally, butterflies are the ultimate symbol of transformation emerging from their cocoons as caterpillars before shedding their caterpillar selves to be a glorious butterfly.

I am more in love with the concept of this painting, which is part homage to Mati Rose, part homage to Native American totem poles and partly based on the creation myth of turtles on top of turtles, than the image itself. The actual painting doesn't include the collaged word elements but I feel my background makes it too busy. I will simplify later.  But here I am, impatient to post, and here it is - imperfect but present. Hope you enjoy.

1 comment:

Demoiselle Libellule said...

Hello Mira, I'm a fellow flyer and I'm only now discovering your wonderful work and your lovely blog. I really love the way you described the symbolism of each animal. This is fantastic even if the work is still in progress!
Thanks for sharing!!!