This piece is a combination of "appropriation art" and ephemeral art.
The wax box contains a replica of the famous Botticelli Venus, rendered in black and white, along with labels at the bottom which read "Mother" and "Witch". The box is bordered with snakeskin.
In my younger feminist years, I liked to play with the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) and look up the etymology of words related to women.
I also researched the history of witchcraft with its many abuses of women and other "heretics", which enabled the church at that time to expropriate the wealth of independent women, wise women (herbalists), gyspys, homosexuals and others with views and lifestyles independent of the Church hierarchy.
Part of what was taken from the many millions of people sentenced to torture and death during those several centuries of persecution was a culture of self help with regard to health care, and a culture of living close to and in partnership with the land.
The word witch, is derived from the word "wicca" the meaning of which (forgive the pun) is to bend. And all of us today must learn to bend a little. All of us embracing change within ourselves and our world, all of us aspiring to a more peaceful world, must bend in order to evolve.
The snakeskin represents self-transformation and rebirth. The snake symbolizes universal life force energy, which is why the snake is traditionally associated with the Divine Mother.
So this piece is really an homage to beauty, to flexibility and to evolution -- an invocation of that transcendent power of the Great Mother God, by whose grace we can be guided to a place of rebirth within. In that holy of holies, we rebirth ourselves, we become self-empowered beings of light, and we cast aside our egoistic personalities, with their limitations and flaws, as a snake sheds its skin.
This piece evokes these ancient memories and crystallizes this ancient source of wisdom and shakti for today's world.
You can see the shot on this page of a group of these mixed media wax shadow boxes and icons. They look good either one at a time or in a group like this.
Contact me if you're interested in purchasing a selection of these pieces. I'm happy to discuss it and make an arrangement suitable to your needs.
Read more about my work in my artist statement, Creating Spiritual Art for the New Millenium and resume.