Spider Woman

Screen (2-Sided)
Mixed Media
H96" x W144"

The eight-panel screen depicts a giant spider with her web from the infinite unknown above her. The white lines on the frame are the webs woven for life. According to 'The Book of the Hopi' by Frank Waters, it is from her spittle (bottom centre) that two entities are created: one responsible for vibration (sound) and the responsible other for material (mass). Similarly, scientists describe light sometimes as a wave (vibration) and sometimes as a particle (mass). The two entities held by the front feet (bottom centre) touch the red mesa below which is the emergence of land which is adorned by water (blue) and life (green). The blue and green are repeated on the frame also. The panels distributed throughout the screen represent the Hopi four worlds.

In the two central lower panels the first world was destroyed by fire (red and yellow), The people had lived amongst the animals but the 'doors of their heads were closed' and they strayed from the path they were given. In the second world the people got more involved with themselves so much so, that the world spun outs off its axis and stopped rotating. Thus white around blue is a frozen earth. The two upper outer panels represent the third world. The people got so distracted by their inventions that the competing city-states eventually heaped wars upon each other. A flood destroyed it. Blue is water, red is blood. The four upper inner panels represent the present fourth world. The bright colours have been greyed to show that the devastation and pollution are occurring at an alarming rate. This is it according to the Hopi. Either we make it or we don't.
It is up to us.

The web was a delight to make from guitar and piano wire and brass and aluminum tubing.

This is the last screen in the series representing the present by the artist. It is also the last of the materials used throughout these screens for the frames. Oddly enough, the wood was found in a dried-up swamp. The wood was used as the horizontal rails for '50's style double garage doors. The artist's process has deteriorated from using found and used objects, exclusively, to including store- bought paint, guitar strings and metal rods, etc. Apparently, the artist is having a bit more fun and satisfaction recruiting materials by shopping and the like.

Peter Cooke * 1233 Mount Maxwell Road * Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2H7 * (250) 537-4617

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