Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Place of Our Childhood: Paradise Lost?

Sometimes I think that once we leave home, a gate seems to close behind us. When we come back, things are never the same as they used to be. There is a separation, a thin, partially transparent film of memory, through which we see the place. In my mind, this is similar to the story of the expulsion from paradise, which is described in many religions and mythologies as an allegory of the early existence of our culture. Our common childhood. We tend to think of paradise as a garden, not as a home. But in either case, there is that high, unsurmountable fence, and the ever-turning sword that cuts both ways, guarding it: the core of our beginnings. The time of our childhood. Our imagined happiness.

So today I chose to show you a detail from my paper sculpture, called Genesis. This story starts at the bottom, and snakes its way around the curved facets of the paper sculpture, starting with chaos, going through the separation of heaven and earth, creation of the sun, the moon and the stars, emergence of vegetation, life forms in the sea and on dry land, the tree of wisdom, the snake, Eve tempting Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, and ending at the top with the expultion from paradise.

The sculpture is constructed from three parts: 
  1. The foot at the bottom, which I shaped as an elegant, curvy pedestal 
  2. The faceted design in the middle, which I created out of a single sheet of paper, with no cutting or glueing at all (merely by light scoring and hand pressure)
  3. And the multi-pointed crown at the top, where the eye of God looking down on the tumult is painted (not visible here.)   
On each facet of the sculpture, I painted a different scene from the creation of the world. The lines of the design in one scene curve onto the next facet, the next scene. For example, the branches of the tree of knowledge rise into the top facet where the become the outline of the road leading away from the garden of Eden.

Take a closer look. You can click the paper sculpture to see it from more sides.

To see another one of my paper sculptures, click here.

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