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"Pilgrimage" is inspired by Maori mythology, where Papatuanuku is Mother Earth and gives birth to all things, including people. "Papa," as she is also known, is one half of a primordial couple, Rangi (Ranginui) and Papa, or Father Sky and Mother Earth. I have always felt a strong connection to this creation myth and it fits in line with my personal spiritual beliefs. While this is not a direct representation of Papatuanuku, it is my interpretation of the Mother Earth Goddess, or Mother Nature, with a strong appreciation for Maori lore and a heartfelt thanks for the inspiration and muse.
In my version, Mother Earth is shown here as a structure with a human face and head, which also comprises the earth. A tree grows from her head and her hair is made up of green moss or grass. She is encircling the universe and she stands tall and proud of her creations. I used a maple clock bezel for the base, which represents all of time; past, present, and future. Inside the clock face a man walks in search of answers. He is painted black to represent his inability to find what he is looking for--literally in the dark--and he walks in circles trying to find his way. The round center could simulate a wheel that moves but goes nowhere, much like a hamster wheel. It can also represent that time and space moves on continuously--infinitely. The woman who is perched at the top is experiencing quite the opposite. She sits with "Papa" in admiration and respect. She has found her peace. She is in the light. This piece was a fun piece to make.
I created Papa's branches using dryer lint and Golden brand fabric stiffener, which I then painted. These "branches" are hard like real branches. The wood clock bezel was sanded and painted, after first applying a crackle paste. Flowers and other decorations were decoupaged on before a finishing varnish was applied. The universe was created using layers of Golden self-leveling gel to which different colored paints were added. Several layers of this gel comprise the transparent "skin".
The stars were painted with glow-in-the-dark paint. Light shines through this skin in a variety of ways. A battery operated tea light rests at the back and can be turned on at night to make the universe light up. Or it can be placed so that natural light shines through it. If bright light is shone into the piece it will glow when the lights are turned off.
HO scale figures were used and diorama grass, shrubbery, and stones were used for the landscape. I constructed the tree from wire which I then coated with Golden gel medium and dipped in diorama grass. Papa's head was created from a broken doll head which I sanded and repainted. This piece measures 9-1/2 tall x 7-1/2 wide x 3-1/2 deep (including a stand attached to the back for the tea light).