Thursday, December 22, 2011

Beauty of Bones

I have long loved the inherent beauty of bare tree limbs, of stones, of bones -- those objects that are basic and the base upon which life is built, the framework for life.

Rene Gibson sees that beauty and enhances it so the rest of us can see as well. The process, said Rene, is a path to finding her true, essential self as well. As with many journeys of self discovery, hers began with something ordinary and very understandable -- a woman decorating her house.

I decided I "needed" something to hang above my TV and, to make a long story short, I came up with the idea of trying to make a mosaic cow skull. I'm not really sure why, since I had been a vegetarian a few times in my life and I was never a fan of taxidermy. Yet, two weeks later the skull shown above was hanging right above my television. It was my first attempt and I loved it!

There are people, I am not among them, that think there might be something creepy about taking animal bones and using them as decor. I have always believed that our homes should be filled with beauty and meaning, not just "decorative" items, but art that speaks to us. like what Rene's work says.

Bringing out the inherent beauty of each animal as a way to honor the spirit who has made the greatest sacrifice of all is my daily spiritual practice.What? may ask......I often ask myself the same question. How did that happen? More importantly, do I really want people to know this about me? Well, about eight years ago I promised myself I would no longer limit my life because I was afraid. I would no longer pretend to be something that I was not because I was too afraid of revealing my true self. Here's to fearlessness.

I am blessed to know many very talented artists, and through their art, they find truths about themselves, and reveal to us, truths about ourselves. It is an amazing gift and process, and one I admire so much. Rene connected with the spirit of the animals that had once owned these bones -- a sacred trust.

I truly enjoyed working with the skulls, but it was simply another medium at that point. While working on a commission piece, things began to change,said Rene. I call him Big Head (not too creative in the name department; he had a very large head). I feel bad about that now that I know our connection, but the name has stuck. While working on Big Head, I would be overcome with deep feelings of joy and sometimes I would even laugh out loud. Other times, I felt overwhelming love. . . I kept Big Head and I'll keep the rest of that story private for now.From that point on my work became more meaningful. When I work with a skull, I approach each piece with love and attention. Billions of animals are killed each year for consumption alone, not including hunting practices. My work with skulls, while some may think it is morbid, is purposeful in that I honor the sacrifice each animal made and honor the inherent beauty of each animal. I sit with each skull and let it "talk" to me and out of that conversation a design is born. The spirit of the animal works through me as I carefully and lovingly set each bead or tile onto the skull. If one of these skulls "talks" to you, buy it because it is meant to be with you.

Take a look at Rene's work. I'm sure something will speak to you. And in this season of gifting, there is no better gift than art. Click here to view Rene's incredible art:

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