the apple

Local artist Alana Grant and Brisbane-based artist Megan Davies

are mounting an exhibition humbly titled

the apple.

The exhibition will be showing at the Serpentine Community Gallery, Lismore,

from 22nd October to 3rd November.

Official opening: from 6pm on Saturday the 25th October 2014.

The Apple - Exhibition Statement

~ A two women exhibition featuring works

by Alana Grant and Megan Davies ~

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth… as it says in the book of Genesis. He created the world in six days and consecrated the seventh as a day of rest. Then God created Adam and out of Adam’s rib He created Eve, as well as, all the animals in the Garden of Eden. God instructs them not to eat the fruit (the apple) from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. A talking serpent then entices Eve into eating anyway, and she entices Adam, whereupon God curses them both and throws them out in what is known as the fall of man. We are all familiar with this interpretation of creation, however, what if there existed other stories, other myths and other theories that predated this version?And what would that mean in terms of our cultural perceptions of the apple, woman and creation itself? These are some of the questions that local artist, Alana Grant, and Brisbane based artist, Megan Davies, are asking in this exhibition humbly titled the apple.

Both female artists are ex-art students whom have been actively exhibiting for over a decade. They met over eighteen months ago whilst studying to become art therapists at the Ikon Institute in Brisbane. Through their love of art and shared passions regarding feminism and spirituality a bond was forged and from this a conversation that is representative in this visual art exhibition. The apple, as a symbol of mixed interpretation, seemed an apt reference point to further this dialogue. It is important to note here that both Grant and Davies have  stated that it is not their intention to disrespect or devalue the Judeo/Christian belief system, a system that they acknowledge has come to be for so many worshippers the very fabric of love and morality in their daily lives.

Strongly influenced by the writings of well-known anthropologist, Joseph Campbell, Davies is exploring the time period from roughly 7000BC to 500AD, whereupon another myth existed in the hearts and minds of women and men, from Celtic legend, of the Isle of Avalon (meaning apple land), to Scandinavian, Roman, Grecian, Egyptian and Indian societies that pertain to the apple. In these times and places, the paradise like garden was the domain of the Mother Goddess whose sacred serpent, (representing the cycle of birth, death and re-birth due to its innate ability to shed its own skin), guarded the tree of life. Upon the arrival of a visiting man, the Goddess gave to him the fruit of life, the apple, whose deeper meanings referred to immortality, marriage and the knowledge of duality as opposed to the later version that sees nature as we know it as corrupt, the female as the epitome of sex and therefore the ultimate corrupter and furthermore, life itself as the original sin.

This idea of woman as temptress and the apple as the object of temptation is mirrored also in the art pieces created by Grant. Both artists are therefore challenging socio-cultural stereotypes that pitch Eve and women in general, as the ultimate femme fatale. This archetype has come to dominate so much of our literature, music, film and art, and one need only to turn to the classic fairy tale of Snow White to see this operating in the character of the evil stepmother who uses a poisonous apple to send poor innocent Snow into a timeless slumber. Grant plays with this notion of the apple by placing it in the hands of her youngest daughter in a painted photographic piece, where the sinister implications of the apple are almost done away with through the innocence of the child which is quite disconcerting and at the same time freeing,

due to this dichotomy.

Grant and Davies share other appreciations pictorially in this show, namely the pattern formations inherent in sacred geometry, which has been used around the globe for centuries in art and architecture. According to contemporary writer and speaker, Drunvalo Melchizedek, the leading example and symbol of sacred geometryis the flower of life which Grant and Davies have both represented in their works. It has been suggested by some that it is the ultimate visual expression of the connection life interweaves through all beings and life itself. The flower of life can be found in the temples, art, and manuscripts of cultures throughout the world, from the earliest known example found in the Temple of Osiris at Abydos, Egypt which some experts propose may date back as long as 10,000B.C. to Hungary, Israel, China, Japan, India, Turkey, Spain, Austria, Italy, Morocco, Lebanon, Peru and Mexico. For these two artists’ by marrying the imagery of sacred geometry with the representation of women and the apple it is their aim to re-envision histories and place the various Western European myths and female archetypes smack bang in the middle of life and creation itself. Grant takes this idea even a step further through her fascination with modern day experimental physics, specifically, in the form of the torus, which if viewed in a three dimensional form, resembles the very shape of an apple.  It has been suggested that this shape can be found in electromagnetic  fields, galaxies and the natural world.

Lastly, at the core of this exhibition is an investigation of the complex web of ideas that exist regarding the relationships between the apple, women, life and creation. Davies and Grant are attempting to weave the loose threads together in order to re-integrate aspects of the feminine back into the broader picture. Davies is quoted in saying:

'In a world still fraught and savaged with war I feel a celebration of the traditional feminine archetypal forces of love, motherhood, nature, creation, gentleness, emotion, intuitive understanding would not go astray and may lend to a more humane approach to life

and our relations with each other.'

'Sacred Knowledge'

oil, photography

by Alana Grant

'Mirror Mirror'

ceramic

by Alana Grant

'She still Lives in the Hearts and Minds of Women and Men alike ...and alike we are'

acrylic

by Megan Davies

'Electromagnetic Field of the Heart'

oil

by Alana Grant and Peter Seaton

'Tree Of Life'

oil

by Alana Grant

'And so the Angel Sang,

Sun Rise over the Sea no longer'

'The Sun in the Moon'