Samhain 1 The Open Gates

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May 5, 2017 by smithartonline

Samhain 1The Open Gates
Mixed media constructed box
10.5 X 13.5 X 2.5 inches

Samhain 1 The Open Gates is a constructed mixed media box created for an October exhibition. Pasadena Society of Artists has a potential show with the Arroyo Arts Collective: PSA members will interpret the theme of Halloween and the other exhibitors will present their take on Dia de los Muertos. In truth, my theme is Samhain, a festival which predates the Halloween festivities currently celebrated on 30 October. Samhain is a Celtic celebration for the harvest season, the changing of the year and a time when the gates between this world and the otherworld are open.

Samhain 1 (the fact this is designated 1 might suggest other works are on the way) presents symbols associated with the Celtic otherworld. Additional elements are introduced which are not necessarily unique to this theme, symbols such as comets and the white stag as guide. There is an abstract presentation of water flowing from the cut out area. Water is considered sacred by many cultures and, in western societies, a promise made across a body of water is unbreakable. All together, I have presented a visual story centered upon “the journey,” a theme I regularly revisit in my work.

If you look closely at the two small maps within the cutout area, you will note the maps are flipped, one the reverse of the other… parallel worlds becoming accessible once a year…the same but different.

As is common for me, I borrowed traditions from non-western cultures. There are the seven stars and moon symbols commonly found in Korean shamanism: the combination is a strong talisman protecting from the negative. Hopefully anyone who comes into contact with the work will encounter only positive kismet.


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