Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On

Marion Peck is the artist of this haunting image. Not just in this, but in all her work, there is a sadness, a waste, a tragic unknown that clings to the psyche. It is a re-working of the seventeenth and eighteenth century Dutch school flower pictures, and like all such pictures, it has surprising depth. In the average flower picture the blooms symbolise the transitory nature of beauty, joy, youth and all that delights. The flowers are beauties, but they will soon die, and what now delights will in a short time disgust. Here the poignancy is brought to an acute pitch: the flowers are actually souls, beautiful, vulnerable girls - will they fade and be discarded, like dead flowers?

I find something suggestive of abortion in this image. The artist herself says only that the images come from her dreams. She pins no particular meaning on any of them, which is normal in the surrealist genre - dreams are accepted, not interpreted. But yet, I see the troubled innocence of the faces, the human features on the insects - suggestive of larvae or foetuses - and above all the overall impression of something beautiful (the flowers, or our modern pleasure centred lives) with a sickening core (death/abortion). Copy this picture to your desktop, look at it over and over again. You will find it troubling, as I have.

May God send His grace to stay the hands of the abortionists, and give confidence to the women who fear the births of children.

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