Thursday, April 7, 2011

new work: Called Back (Emily Dickinson)

Here's another new assemblage that was recently added to our Etsy shop, In The Crystal Palace:

Kym Hepworth, Called Back (Emily Dickinson), 2011, mixed media, 10 x 23 5/8 x 3 in.


Called Back

Just lost when I was saved!
Just felt the world by by!
Just girt me for the onset of eternity,
When breath blew back,
And on the other side
I heard recede the disappointed tide!

Therefore, as one returned, I feel,
Odd secrets of the line to tell!
Some sailor, skirting foreign shores,
Some pale reporter from the awful doors
Before the seal!

Next time, to stay!
Next time, the things to see
By ear unheard,
Unscrutinized by eye.

Next time, to tarry,
While the ages steal, -
Slow tramp the centuries,
And the cycles wheel.


The title of this assemblage alludes to Emily Dickinson's gravestone epitaph (see image below). The right panel of the piece, in which a old wall telephone is nestled inside a wreath, playfully refers back to this. The overall color scheme of the piece is white and pale blue. I personally associate this palette with an icy-cold winter's day, an endless clear blue sky overhead, and stillness all around. Emily Dickinson is immediately associated with white: She began wearing white sometime in the 1860's when she was in her 30's. She was buried in white and enclosed in a white casket. In the left panel of the assemblage, her portrait is framed inside a white wreath. The wreath is meant to suggest a bridal wreath. In mourning art imagery, a bridal wreath represents the death of a bride. The middle panel of the assemblage has a butterfly with a downward pointing skeleton's hand. Again, in mourning art imagery, the butterfly symbolizes the soul in resurrection, while a finger pointing downwards indicates the Finger of God taking the deceased home; sudden death or mortality.

Kym Hepworth, Emily Dickinson's gravestone (Called Back)

Kym Hepworth, detail, Emily Dickinson's grave

Kym Hepworth, sunflowers, New Orleans

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