Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

I am not a therapist. I am not a spiritual leader. These elements are in the art: it is therapeutic, spiritual, social and political – everything. It has many layers. But art has to have many layers. If it doesn’t, then forget it.
Marina Abramovic

Once again, Sara Rosso has picked a theme which coincides perfectly with elements in my day-to-day life.  The concept “layers” is very apt as I recover from radiation therapy.  Healing occurs at many levels in the body as well as the heart and mind.  It progresses at its own pace and can’t be rushed.

“Layers” also appear in my creative work at those blissful times when the writing flows easily and I manage to weave together political, social, and personal threads of the story.  When I was writing my novel, The Incident at Montebello,  this happened almost magically and at conscious and unconscious levels.     It’s also something I aspire to in my photographs.

For this week, I’ve selected three photos of artistic works, which illustrate many “layers” in the medium of expression.   In the first picture, the artist Annie Belle, pictured here, fabricated a soft structure out of wool (with furniture) that resembles a yurt.  She explained that knitting became her refuge and a way to heal from anorexia.

Annie Belle, Wool Refuge, Art Prize 2013

Annie Belle, Wool Refuge, Art Prize 2013

For more information on the artist Annie Belle, click here:  http://www.artprize.org/annie-belle/2013/woolhouse

Daniel Arsham took shards of broken glass from his Florida neighborhood after the destruction of Hurricane Andrew and re-purposed it into his art.  The male figure in “Watching” fabricated with the broken glass symbolizes (for me) the regenerative power of the human spirit as well as its frailty.

David Arsham, "Watching," Art Prize, 2013

David Arsham, “Watching,” Art Prize, 2013

For more information on David Arsham and his work, click here: http://www.artprize.org/daniel-arsham/2013/watching

In this last photo, the sculpture “Cloud Gate” in Millennium Park in Chicago,  is the work of the Indian-born artist Anish Kapoor.   This abstract work draws crowds of tourists and people celebrating weddings and significant birthdays, such as a young girl’s quinceañera  (fifteenth birthday).  Visitors are mesmerized by the curved metal  shape (hence the popular nickname “the bean”) which creates layer upon layer of reflections as spectators view themselves, other people, and the surrounding area.  One additional layer comes from the artist who states that his work represents the mythological “omphalos”  or “world navel” in Greek mythology.   “Omphalos” is a rich symbol, linking back to several sacred sites like Delphi, which the ancient Greeks believed were the center (or navel) of the world.

How many “layers” can you spot in this photo?  I count 6.   Here they are:  1.  The bride, groom and the photographer in the foreground;  2. The reflection of the bride, groom and photographer;  3.  The bridesmaid with her back to the camera;  4. The reflection of the other spectators–including me, taking the photo;  5.  The children playing on the ground; and 6.  The park green space in the upper left corner.  Did I miss anyone or anything?

Wedding at the Bean, Chicago

Wedding at the Bean, Chicago

To see other interpretations of this week’s theme, click on:


18 replies »

  1. Interesting choice! I’m familiar with Abramovic & Kapoor, but the others are new to me, and their work is a great expression of layers of meaning. Thanks for shoeing it. And good luck in your healing – your words about that are wise indeed!


  2. Really enjoyed this post. A quick note to let you know that there will not be a challenge next Monday due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Hope to see you on 02 December for the next challenge: Nature. Have a glorious and relaxing Thanksgiving.


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