Rose Wognum Frances

Axis Mundi

Sterling silver, lost-wax cast and chased, with inset moonstone eyes, mica hands, body sculpted of wool and silk fibres and fabric with felted wool and silk embellishments. Niche is paint on canvas, wood, and inscribed copper.
36”H x 24”W x 7”D 2021

A rose tree blooms. At her roots is the snake of the wisdom of immanence, a wisdom earned through a journey of transformative loss and renewal. The snake can shimmer gracefully on the surface of the earth, she can climb the trunk of the tree, and curl around the topmost branches. And she can journey where we humans cannot—into the mysterious realm of the tree’s roots, the Underworld, deep within the Earth. The teachings of our ever-changing earth are both beautiful and terrifying. High above, framed by the six lobes at the center of the Chartres labyrinth, flies the bird of transcendent wisdom, of ecstatic spirit flight, above the bonds of the earth, riding blissful currents of air. In the bird’s beak is the gift of the tenth rose. The woman holds both immanent and transcendent wisdom in her bones. She has made both journeys many times, and the fullness of the world tree is within her now, as she dances in perfect balance.

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