Collaborative Art Project
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a talisman is “an object held to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune.”
I dream of a world where love is the answer…
Last year, I was honored and excited to receive an invitation from the talented and innovative artist, Mo Orkiszewski, a.k.a. Mo Crow, to participate in a collaborative art project. The idea was so beautiful, and I knew that with Mo’s leadership and vision, it was bound to be a true work of magic. Here’s how she describes it:
“This collaborative project gathers together a worldwide circle of women and two good men joining hearts and hands for mending our beautiful broken world. It began with the gift of an old wedding dress which I cut up into 45 pennants and made a call out for anyone interested in stitching their hopes and dreams on June 30th, 2017. The pennants were all spoken for by the next day, for those who missed out I made a call for making small talismans of love and protection for our world.
Making art as an act of reverence, a magic spell cast into the world to heal the divisions, mend the desecration and bind the world with love and respect that speaks of connection, communicating a sense of how we belong to our planet, that each person has value, that each moment of reaching out has potential. Collectively we are shining a beacon for understanding, making strong threads with love and singing.” (The Gathering 2017-2019)
Above, one of Mo’s original rough sketches of her idea.
Below, the tree part before installation.
Talisman of Love for Our Beautiful, Broken World
My biggest hurdle in making the talisman was the size restriction: 1 cm x 1 cm. The idea of making it in the form of a book came fairly quickly, but how would I make anything that small? I tried my best, people, but there was no way to reconcile my idea with those dimensions. What to do? In the end, like any free-thinking, non-conforming artist, (i.e. almost all of us), I didn’t quite follow instructions. The actual book part of the piece is roughly 2 cm x 2 cm, not counting the beaded hanging thingy at the top, or the dangling thingies at the bottom. So, let’s just not count those, OK?
Luckily, the ever-patient Mo was not upset, and I was relieved to see that the other talisman-makers had followed directions no better than I had. To see all of the amazingly gorgeous pennants and talismans, go here.
Materials and Meaning
To explain what I made, what I made it from, and why, I’ll refer to the note I sent with the talisman to Australia. You can also see Mo’s post about it here.
I was so honored to be asked to participate in this wonderful collaborative project. This is such a beautiful idea, combining the love-filled intentions of so many incredible artists from around the world in stitching our beautiful, broken world back together. Through the synergy of art and magic, the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts.
For my part, I thought long and hard, and made several failed prototypes, before coming to my final solution. I wanted to create a talisman in the form of a book, symbolizing the Earth and inscribed with magical symbols. I used a piece of one of my favorite vintage world maps, folding it so that when viewed with the cover open, the map was whole (as much as it could be). I chose to use *botany estivation diagrams as sigils for the inside; this is my attempt to write in the Earth’s own language.
The covers are adorned with mother-of-pearl circles, symbolizing wholeness. Other materials include metal and glass beads, some in the form of flowers. The round blue ones stand for the “blue marble”, Earth, with the “evil eye” bead being an ancient symbol of protection.
I dream of a world where love is the answer.
* estivation or aestivation refers to the positional arrangement of the parts of a flower within a flower bud before it has opened.
Photograph of the installation by John McRae, from the online catalog.
Unfortunately, I'm late in posting the news about the opening because my internet has been out the past few days. I also missed Mo's wonderful post, which you should definitely check out to see what the exhibition looks like. If you're close enough to go to the gallery, please do, and give me a full report! The photos look great, and apparently there was singing and all sorts of fun! Congratulations to Mo and the other participating artists! This project is a true collaboration of spirit, intention, and love. We could use a whole lot more of that in this world.
thanks for writing this beautiful post, your talisman book is such a treasure for the dream (((Sharmon)))
Thank you, Mo. I’m so happy and grateful to be a part of it!