Cascara: the Mundane Shell: frontal view
Mixed media, steel structure and base. 6'x4'
Finally finished! This piece evolved slowly. Born during a time of personal loss, I cradled it in my lap as layer by layer it took shape. Started from a drawing of a shell. Plaster and steel. Branches. Burnished with a stone.
I felt my way through this one. It was not completed until ten years later, as it was then that the base was nickel plated. I always wanted it to have a mirror reflection. Cascara is about protection, such as in a hunched back; and longing. It is about fragility and strength. reversal, opposites.
I recently came across these two quotes from Milton, which influenced me to modify the name.
"The Mundane Shell, is a vast Concave Earth: an immense
Hardend shadow of all things upon our Vegetated Earth
Enlarg'd into dimension & deform'd into indefinite space",
"There is a Void, outside of Existence, which if enterd into Englobes itself & becomes a Womb.."
I have always envisioned Cascara as simultaneously representing two types of care: that of nurturing, from within, and protection from that which is without. In nurturing, the "nurtured" is with one with the protector. It is the type of protection that is associated with pregnancy, birth: embryonic. It is soft, caressing. The other type of protection is that of a hard covering, that comes between the protected and that which is outside: like a shell, a husk, bones, a human back. While making this piece I was thinking of both types of protection, and working on their distinct qualities simultaneously.