Mother's Poisons - A Dissolution of Boundary

Alice OBrien-Gortner

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Alice Wisdom Header
Wisdom: Shelter for the Corroding

Interfaces of tactile interaction have grown and settled between humans and the remainder of the natural world. There are those of contrived boundary: the placement of a self-benefiting, global, hierarchical system in which greed and growth overwhelm human motive and thus devastate and unbalance the welfare of all beings - plant, animal, and mineral. Within this work, these structures are stripped away to reveal the Earth’s interconnected, porous existence for which life has no bounds, utilising, instead, nature’s employment of complex systems which induce cycles of growth, decay and continuation. 

Such interfaces become membranes; nests and skins to dissect, to pull apart, be engulfed by and soak into; unfolding into architectural strategies through tangible and speculative interfaces mediating between humans and nature - the dissipated boundary being the basis for all correspondence between them.

Submersion into these intangible notions relies on the fabrication of a myth, allowing for exploration past the limitations of existing rational architectures, while simultaneously establishing further parameters by employing myth as a generational tool for design and innovation. Tales of creation reveal an immanent landscape as the protagonist Mother – Mother Nature, Mother Earth, the Great Mother – embodies the creator of life and artist of all beings. She presents an aggressive landscape laden with poisons in a predominating response to human destruction, reflecting the necessity to transform through procedures of hybridisation, metamorphosis and decay.

As a tool to organise this discussion and interrogate the Mother, a scheme based upon Erich Neumann’s 1955 Schema III is adapted to expand upon Jungian thought of the feminine archetype. It combines a rational organising structure with a speculative account of the Mother’s characters; a schema pulling upon her maternal and transformative attributes in which she transforms all beings into herself and herself into them.

Following the schema’s framework, mediating procedures provide a grotesque story of dissolving boundaries which allow for unification with the Mother, setting themselves within the bounds of speculation and truly proposed essences of interface and design. These interfaces carry narrative through the Mysteries of Transformation where dissolving boundaries between beings are moulded and revealed. These are the tales of interaction.

Dismemberment 650 X 420
Schema Anew
This is the Mother’s body, it holds her core essences and supporting spine at its centre, and rippling outwards it reveals itself as bone, blood, and skin. Based on Erich Neumann’s 1955 Schema III of the feminine archetype, the Mother is seen as a transformer of matter, a vessel and provider for which inspires changes in both bodily form and the anima. A new scheme is created, not to find an archetype, nor to draw constraints and form rules around one. As a reaction developing from the Schema III, this new scheme provides visions into the fragments of the Mother’s spirit, it maps out slices of her body, it provides a narrative in which she is able to be understood as an ongoing process of birth and death; a continuous cycle of health and sickness; a system to connect to in her nurturing and disparagement.
Impotence Single Shell 1 20 440 X 660
IMPOTENCE BLOODLETTING SHELL: to allow for the transport of fluid during bloodletting - poisons of the old world are carried into the new by their human hosts in which poison is a metaphor for sin; greed and desire slather all motive.
Madness Wide Section 1 200 333 3 X 500
MADNESS: CAULDRON of MAD DISFIGUREMENT - - a fusing product of stone and air; crevices and passages forming and deforming constantly through the movements of magma - likened to volcanic caves birthed into the folds found in the section of a wasps nest.
Stupor Plan A3
STUPOR: The Grafting of Image - Drunkenness causes dissolution; it is a decay of the mind to rid the impermissible. These hybrids surface with grafted limbs sewn upon their chest. The stitches soon melt away, and blood mixes with sap, and sap with soil, and they are no longer separated from the complexity of the Mother’s artistry. We are in her, and her, us. We are no longer human. We are merely a cell of this larger being.
Ecstasy D 503 X 420
ECSTASY of DRUNKENNESS: PRESERVATION CAVE; for ANIHILLATION: a tunnel of twisting light and horrific images of shadow; the ecstasy found from drunkenness causes a trance-like state towards a dissolution and disconnection from past self - Stilted platters carry all discarded bodily fragments from the old world which are no longer required to survive under the Mother’s predomination. They form moving platforms of unsorted evolutionary chaos, turning waste into displays of the – now deemed – grotesquely sinful.
FRUIT: these moments are sweet - paintings of nourishment dressed in their vital glow. The being is treated as the wounded body and the disease, simultaneously. It must be nurtured and fed just as it is ensnared and prepared for weakening; plumped up like a trapped animal being readied for a meal. Prepared for birth.
Birth A3 Person
BIRTH: The SPINSTRESS; of WEAKENED SKIN - - to weaken boundaries between flesh is to be infected with that of another - Beings undergoing birth find themselves spun with the materials of the earth, the memories and muscles of the Mother. Nectar is the pre-treatment for such transformation; the vulnerable, soaken, and sweet become less themselves as the world around them tears itself apart, weaving into their skin and taking them over.
Rebirth And Immortality 600 X 400 Section Not Flat
​REBIRTH: VORAX NEPENTHACEAE - A weak and torn body drops into the papery well. It becomes submerged in a chemical pool and, unable to climb its slippery walls, grows frantic. The prey's body has now been left in this trap for the flesh-eaters – the acids and the bloodied solutions which nibble at the skin. It becomes overpowered, disappearing into the folds of green tissue before finding its way out into the crumbling soils and neighbouring roots who call for these nourishing juices.​ //// IMMORTALITY: The IMMORTAL; the ONE WHO EMERGES - - immortality is found in the Earth’s micro- and macrocosmic births - she who emerges from the soil’s womb - from the dolmen; from the cradle of the Mother’s grasping roots - is the sapling birthed from the greater nursing log, Immortality implies a renewal of awareness; re-interpretaion of the world; re-living of life through an altered lense.​