Our brains are designed to pick up patterns and spot similarities (and differences), it’s like a game, survival magic. It’s this skill that helps us decode which red berry to eat, to avoid black and yellow striped wasps, snakes and tigers and how to trust a loving face.
An artist’s eye naturally seeks out these visual parallels and harmonies but also thrills with their added dissonance, the basis of a visual metaphor. The juxtaposition of this David Austin rose, Spirit of Freedom, that I planted outside my studio and the wasp’s nest I’d collected within turns the wasp’s nest into a flower and the rose into a mysterious and potentially precarious cave.
I wish there was a great story about how I risked life and limb to collect the nest which is larger than my head. Truth be told, I was in a San Jose antique shop searching for floral frames when I spotted this nest hanging on the wall. The vendor’s mother had harvested it herself from Oregon. I keep it like a flower in a vase where I can simple stare a it in awe.