When Bitter Makes Sweet | Large Format Digital Prints | 2013
The art impetus for the series, When Bitter Makes Sweet, stem from particular primary sources such as the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and Ancient Near East Texts. The impetus for creating the large format photos has been immersing in the item and action motifs around flora of a particular text.
In this pursuit, my emphasis has been on the materia of the text, Materia being the latin term for "the material", and compromised of materials which have forms, substances, and uses. "Materia Medica" denotes materials "including all those substances selected from the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms, which is used for the cure of diseases." The substances can be used for prevention, treatment, healing, and curing for such ailments as parasites and unclean water. But materia conveys more than simply tangible materials; it speaks to the intangible within those materials, and this fuller concept of materia -- the "essence" which words and definitions cannot confine.
My expanded interpretation of materia through the medium of photography attempts to bring to life the textures, hue, pattern, and color of the material in an ancient passages. Often, I find myself connecting to healing, ritual, and Wise Women references in my art. In the etymology of Aramaic, Hebrew, Akkadian, and Hieroglyphs, and in primary sources that include the writings of the Talmud, Josephus, and Pliny the Elder, the bitter herbs in the texts come alive offering the hope of "sweet" healing as part of the narrative. Prunus Cherry Blossoms, hyssops, garlic, salt, carob, cucumber, leeks, onions and almonds were used in the photography due to their significance as food and remedy in ancient times.