Song of Songs

  • 2011
    Acrylic on canvas
  • This piece depicting a goddess as a mountain was commissioned by a California collector. The reclining female figure is transformed into a magical landscape of rich symbolism. The mythopoetic imagery is taken from the "Song of Songs" in the Bible, as well as a Himalayan myth where a goddess is transformed into a mountain. The ornaments and inner anatomy of the channels and subtle body are composed of blossoming lotus and lily flowers and heaps of wheat. Here is a selection from Song of Songs to give a sense of the rich sensuality and metaphorical imagery:

    "How beautiful you are, my darling!
    Oh, how beautiful!
    Your eyes behind your veil are doves.
    Your hair is like a flock of goats
    descending from the hills of Gilead.
    Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn,
    coming up from the washing.
    Each has its twin;
    not one of them is alone.
    Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon;
    your mouth is lovely.
    Your temples behind your veil
    are like the halves of a pomegranate.
    Your neck is like the tower of David,
    built with courses of stone[a];
    on it hang a thousand shields,
    all of them shields of warriors.
    Your breasts are like two fawns,
    like twin fawns of a gazelle
    that browse among the lilies.
    Until the day breaks
    and the shadows flee,
    I will go to the mountain of myrrh
    and to the hill of incense.
    You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
    there is no flaw in you.
    Come with me from Lebanon, my bride,
    come with me from Lebanon.
    Descend from the crest of Amana,
    from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon,
    from the lions’ dens
    and the mountain haunts of leopards.
    You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
    you have stolen my heart
    with one glance of your eyes,
    with one jewel of your necklace.
    How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!
    How much more pleasing is your love than wine,
    and the fragrance of your perfume
    more than any spice!
    Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;
    milk and honey are under your tongue.
    The fragrance of your garments
    is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
    You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride;
    you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
    Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates
    with choice fruits,
    with henna and nard,
    nard and saffron,
    calamus and cinnamon,
    with every kind of incense tree,
    with myrrh and aloes
    and all the finest spices.
    You are a garden fountain,
    a well of flowing water
    streaming down from Lebanon."

    Song of Songs 4:4-15