Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Make You a Garland from His Tree (Paintings from the Women's Week Show at BYU)

This was a very fun show that I did with Lee Udal Bennion, Kathleen Paterson, and Sally Poet. This is my portion of the show,  a few of the images are described below.

I love this sweet piece,  based upon a phrase from the odes of Solomon, some of the earliest Christian Hymns.  This one comes from ode #20.  

"But put on the grace of the Lord generously, and come to His Paradise, and make for yourself a garland from His tree. Then put it on your head and be joyful, and recline upon His rest.  For His glory will go before you; and you shall receive of His kindness and of His grace; and you shall be anointed in truth with the praise of His holiness."

The entire set of odes have been very intriguing to me,  and inspired a series about "the anointing"  a word synonymous with early christianity,  since the very word "christ" and "christian" both come from the Greek work anointed.  This frame was create by Rett Ashby.

This one is titled, "He that is Joined to Eternity" a poetic reference to the 3rd ode.  Ma'at being synonymous with both Eternity and the female spouse. The osterich feather is the Ma'at symbol,  as can be seen scripted above her head in similar fashion to the Egyptian heiroglyphic vingettes, the laurels being the symbol of coronation for men,  achievable only through the marriage.

This one is comes from the first ode,  although I prefer the other translation which says the Lord is upon my head like a wreathe,  I will include the full translation from the gnostics:
  1. The Lord is on my head like a crown, and I shall never be without Him. 
  2. Plaited for me is the crown of truth, and it caused Your branches to blossom in me. 
  3. For it is not like a parched crown that blossoms not; 
  4. For You live upon my head, and have blossomed upon me. 
  5. Your fruits are full and complete; they are full of Your salvation....
The reason that I prefer the wreathe translation is the fact that the entire series of odes are not just hymns,  but actually accompanied temple rituals, as Hugh Nibley explains in his fascinating book,  the Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri.  The constant reference to wreaths flowers and garland,  is a doubling of the motifs of coronation with the motif of the Tree of Life,  the later being synonymous both with the Garden of Eden and priesthood sealing ordinances.

"The Isle of Embracing"  I've described this one in a post after the same name.

The show also included my larger painting Oh Morning Star,  Make a Path for Me,  As well as my "Glorious Mother Eve" painting, which has been explained in previous posts.

I loved so many of these other paintings, especially the top one by Kathleen Paterson.  It reminds me of "the firm grasp" series that I wanted to do,  but as of yet,  have not had time.  And of course,  Sallie's paintings are incomparable for cool factor.