Eyes of the Stars (The Alchemical Peacock)
Naming this piece was difficult. Not because of a lack of ideas, but because the ideas were almost overwhelming.
In my last piece, Into the Core (Formations Through Time), I was searching for the term for the striations of foundational elements, something akin to geological layers that can show events through time. Very much like the layers of the Grand Canyon.
But it was more than that. It was something transformative. A new creation from the old. A historical recording of a transformative stage. And I was looking to capture it in my work.
I felt an alignment with a form of kintsugi philosophy. Kintsugi is the art of mending broken pottery with gold or silver. A beautiful acknowledgement of the flaws. An acceptance of the stages. A reminder of being in the present. These are of course in line with japanese wabi sabi and mushin philosophy.
This is how the gold and silver was added to the piece. It’s also how the series self-identified.
The main theme of this series is about transformation. More precisely, it’s about integrating evolving relationships with our environment and each other in an accepting and beautiful manner.
In Greek mythology, the peacock’s feathers contain the “eyes of the stars”. A poetic and beautiful image. It is almost just part of the collateral damage that occurs in this particular high-octane drama.
My focus was more on the transformative symbology.
In the medieval bestiary, the peacock is the destroyer of serpents, and had the ability to eat poisonous plants (and animals) without bringing any harm to itself. In fact, the poison itself was why the peacock’s feathers were colorful.
There are similar myths in India, as well. I feel it’s a way to synthesize big themes. Transformation, acceptance, beauty, presence, and our environment.
It all boils down to being able to appreciate being able to take lemons and create delicious lemonade.