Thursday, April 12, 2007
the owl was a baker's daughter
This is one of my early collages, from 2005. The image was inspired by the title of a book by Jungian psychoanalyst Marion Woodman. Woodman, a former high school English teacher, was searching for a metaphor to describe the internal distress that is particular to women with eating disorders, and found it in the description of Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet.
In the play Ophelia cries, "They say the owl was a baker's daughter. Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be. God be at your table!" Later, Ophelia is held up, "mermaid-like," by her garments as she drowns herself - until the weight of the water pulls her down into the mud.
I combined the symbol of the owl with a mermaid's tail. The collage elements are photographs from magazines - primarily fashion magazines, which I like for their bright, crisp colours. I went over the collage afterwards with a thick Sharpie pen, to add detail.