I’ve delayed in posting these pieces because I wasn’t sure how to explain them. I wasn’t sure what to say or if I should say anything at all but I believe I’ve finally found the right mix of words to explain the series of paintings called Cocoon.
First, a little background information: I have Lupus and the symbol for Lupus is the butterfly. Where there’s a butterfly there was once a cocoon. The series focuses on inside the cocoon. The color of the support ribbon for Lupus is purple which is why there are shades of purple here and there in the paintings. Lets move ahead. Truthfully, I’m scared to death about my health. It is this fear which has motivated the series of paintings.
So much has happened in such a very short period of time that I’ve asked what I’m not used to asking, primarily, will I make it out of this ‘cocoon’, this particular stage of my life? That question has lead me to wonder what the thought process is inside a real cocoon. A cocoon is thought of as a warm safe haven for growth but does the life inside it feel that way? Does the life inside feel warm and safe or does it feel trapped? Is the question ever raised, is it greener on the outside? Will life be better after transformation? Is my vulnerability worth it? Do they ever fear or worry that the transformation may not turn out so well? Do they doubt the strength of their wings or do they trust the process? Do they break out of their captive hole and HOPE?
Truth is, they’re butterflies. Instinct drives them to open the cocoon and leave. Its humans who question, wonder, worry and over think. I’ve been obsessed with butterflies and impressed with how bravely they open their wings and go. I want to live without being slowed down by worry. I want to open my wings and catch some air!
Several years ago I had the honor of watching a locust emerge from a hard, brown, dead skin. It took him 2 hours to break free. Even after freedom from confinement he still had to struggle and fight to get up and fly. As he gathered strength on my front porch steps he lay vulnerable to prey. It was imperative he gather all his strength and fly. I watched in awe. I’ll never forget how stunningly beautiful he was. He even had one wing less developed than the other which is a detail added to the painting Emergence. It took awhile before the locust flew away but when he did he was bright and beautiful. His emergence was worth it.
The first painting in this series is called Emergence. The thought behind it is this: inside its cocoon, does new life fear, or does it trust that everything will work itself out upon emergence? The second painting called The Request deals with the bargaining stage of grief, sadness and loss during times of illness. The Nature of Life shows a woman growing as part of a cherry blossom tree nearing the end of its season in bloom. As we all know, these blossoms are short lived but when in bloom their beauty is beyond compare. The Nature of Life is about letting go and allowing part of the current life to die off so that the roots may remain strong making future blooms possible.
Please see my Etsy shop for detailed views of each painting. The link is on the sidebar as is contact information.
Thank you for visiting SUNDRIP – Art for Life
Faith Magdalene Austin
NOTE: All pieces in this series have been sold.