Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bee Light

 Here is the illumination which came to fruition in the last few days.

The first name it  received was Invocation.

The instructions were very specific: 1 bee, 2 bee-ish flowers and an 8-fold form within a mihrab.

The mihrab form (the arched doorway shape) is suggestive of a womb space.  This illumination followed on the heals of Mihrab ar-Rahman which, itself,  contains an 8- fold form arising into aliveness from out of the "Breath of the Compassionate".  The similarity here suggests that there is a "coming into beeing" happening here.  The particular 8-fold luterose I was directed to use here appears to be made up of pre-sequenced bee parts, sort of a reservoir of elements.

Even though 8 is the Source, a hexagon lies in the very center towards which an actual bee can orient.

...and now for the light...

Not enough of that sweet, honey colored, mica left to use here.  Remembering that amber mica sheet I get is made by fusing mica flakes with shellac,  I saturated a piece of pellon  (translucent insulating material) with some recently acquired amber shellac.  Lo -- it yielded a very similar appearance to the mica, only a little grainier.  So close but not it.  I then looked to see what kind of rice papers I might have to mitigate the graininess and found a remnant square of blue mulberry paper which closely matched the blue metalic wax used in this piece.

unilluminated luterose where only the mulberry paper is visible

 Interesting, but missing the honey.

Playing around, I placed the shellac infused pellon behind the mulberry paper and illuminated from behind. Oh my! Bullseye!

I love to sit, gazing at this piece in muted light, where illumination comes in through a window but the bee itself either comes to light or remains in shadow.   I love how it transforms as the ambient light changes throughout the day. I am moved to feel the nature of things coming in and out of being.  Invocation as a title was no longer cutting it for me and I asked if there might be an Arabic title to which I might better relate.  

What I heard was Nur an-Nahl - "Light of the Bee."   

In light of that, my own soul finds comfort.

Nur an-Nahl/ Invocation Acid etched copper with fretwork and engraving; oxides, vitrial enamels, metalic wax and amber shellac; backed in Japanese mulberry paper and pellon infused with shellac; mounted on cedar.