I came up with the idea of making a richly decorative 3D quilted skull during a meditation. Thanks Deepak! My initial inspiration for the skull was from reading about psychopomps (from Wikipedia: literally meaning the "guide of souls" psychopomps are creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls to the afterlife). I intended to make a psychopomp skull for my beloved grandmother, to whom I was very close as a child but sadly she died 30 years ago. As the project progressed it emerged that it was more about transformation. The skull represents death and darkness - I made it in the depth of winter while feeling desolate and heartbroken after the end of a brief but intense relationship. As the warmth and light of spring approached and I found some acceptance for my situation, I created the flowers and butterflies which represent growth, hope and transformation. I was inspired by Carl Jung's theory of 'the gold in the shadow': his belief that what consciousness rejects is often the stuff of life that may give it its highest value.
"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious" - Jung.
I wanted to transform the skull (an object that is generally regarded as morbid and creepy) into a thing of beauty.
|Profile of skull|
|Close up of flowers|