Anointing Series | Large Format Archival Digital Prints | 2010 - 2013

Anointing was common in the ancient world among Greeks, Romans, and Israelites alike, as well as Jews, Christians and Muslims. Oil in the ancient world was used to cleanse, moisturize and medicate.  In the Talmed (Shabbath 41 a), the order of washing and anointing was followed in a particular order, which emphasized the ritual aspect of anointing: “When one washes, he must (first) wash the right (hand, foot) and then the left.  When one anoints (himself) with oil, he must anoint the right and then the left…” In Ancient Near East Texts, anointing was inferred as an intimate spiritual communion.

In Psalms 23-5 of the Hebrew Bible, “my cup overflows” in Aramaic is “kyld”, a loan from Greek challis or Latin calyx, related to the English “chalice”.  Chalice has the double meaning of “womb”. “Overflows” is synonymous with fertile abundance and the concept of “filling” of “space” and wisdom-enlightenment.

The impetus for the Anointing Series emphasized the etymological meaning of Psalms 23-5 and anointing through the hands of women-by women, for women and their families. Psalms 23-5 is typically deeply connected in King David symbolism, but when one peels the etymological layers away, the female symbolism sings loud and clear. Women heal and lift themselves up, and then their kin and loved-ones.

The series was created in digital format utilizing ARRI lighting.