ATYL (Alexandra Lee)
mixed media on board; 11 x 14 in.
The work submitted for this exhibition belongs to a larger body of multi-media, interdisciplinary work ‘Project Silkworm’. Commenced in 2009, the on-going project is inspired by the life-cycle of the Bombyx mori, the domesticated Chinese silkworm whose existence relies entirely on human interference and for our consumption. Symbolism and cultural discourse are the primary foci within this framework. Sovegna Vos, used in T.S. Eliot’s poem, ‘Ash Wednesday’, are words originated from Dante’s Purgatory. Multi-layered, the work is about addressing one’s experiences and transcending them with new constructions, and recovery, and need for grace. Each piece questions the conditions of appearance of an image, its context and tensions implicated below the surface, and the undercurrent of emotions. Who are we as individuals and as a unit of a collective? Are we generic numbers, or part of an equation? The things we do and say – do they have any lasting meaning and effects? As we live out the cycles of our lives, what choices do we make? What legacies do we leave behind? Beyond investigations of the allegorical ties of sericulture and humankind’s interactions within its environment and each other, the overall project is semi-autobiographical in that my maternal great-grandfather owned a silk farm in China that was nationalized, and how the social-political upheavals and loss of tradition affected my upbringing and views of bondage and justice.