Descending Into the Fire
A Death/Rebirth Process
This series of clay tablets represents my own process of death, transformation, and healing through art. My work was influenced by several authors: Sylvia Brinton Perera’s Descent to the Goddess (1981) describes a parallel death and rebirth cycle through the Sumerian myth of Innana’s descent to the underworld. In Anam Cara (1997), John O’Donohue said, “Your body is your clay home; your body is the only home that you have in this universe. It is in and through your body that your soul becomes visible and real for you.” In An American Childhood (1987), Annie Dillard wrote, “When everything else has gone from my brain – the President’s name, the state capitals, the neighborhoods where I lived, and then my own name and what it was on earth I sought, and then at length the faces of my friends, and finally the faces of my family – when all this has dissolved, what will be left, I believe, is topology: the dreaming memory of land as it lay this way and that.” I chose to work in clay for the comfort and grounding of home, and to discover the topology, the “dreaming memory” of my soul.