For a lot of people, birth symbolises a sweet beginning, but there is nothing sweet about birth. The process is gruesome, gory, and painful, leaving both the deliverer and the delivered twisted beyond recognition.
This sculpture depicts birth as honestly as one possibly can. The cracked and shattered eggshell sits atop a pool of dirty blood and fluid, but apart from showing a vile looking tail the monster that resides within it appears not yet ready to face the world. It seems almost as though little Dino has been given life before his time, forced into an existence that he does not wish to live through. Pitch black darkness fills the inside of the eggshell as though Dino has already fallen into the bottomless depths of it, the shell that had protected him for so long no longer cocooning him from the harshness of the world.
In effect, every human is like little Dino, compelled to live through years of meaningless existence no one requests. Theorists claim the trauma of birth leaves one so disturbed mentally that, even years later, the horrid effects of the experience can be observed in the peculiarities one endures. It seems befitting, though, that this unexpected life be begun through an experience as full of sufferance as the one that terminates it. The experience of birth attempts to equalise itself with death through the pain, except that death remains the superior experience because it is followed by mere non-existence and life by a series of unfortunate catastrophes.
The sculpture is made in the guise of a tea cup, sitting on a gory saucer. The artist may have attempted to project the idea of drinking from the cup of life, perhaps in reincarnating one’s soul, but the destroyed tea cup gives the impression that drinking from this cup would be akin to placing ones lips against the cold lips of Death himself. The dinosaurs, whose birth is depicted in the sculpture, have long been wiped off the face of the earth and released from the fight for survival, but humans seem forever cursed to continue with the lives they have been thrust into; a life that, from conception, is tinted with the hues of death.
The artist, Stephanie Strong, recently graduated from Westside Academy. Stephanie has always been deeply interested in artistic ventures, inspired from childhood by her mother who is involved with different art forms. Her high school art teacher, Tom Carpenter, was also a source of great inspiration and encouragement to Stephanie. Often, more than what we are taught, more even than our talents, it is our inherent nature that pushes us towards artistic heights. Stephanie’s fascination with the human psyche and the dark mysteries of the mind are apparent in her artwork. This, along with her proactive desire to help people, has also furthered her quest to learn more about the mind, and thus Stephanie would soon be venturing into the academic world of Psychology.
Stephanie claims she doesn’t think when she works; ceramics being her favourite form of expression, she merely gets her hands in the clay and allows them to morph the clay into what looks best. It appears that Stephanie is extremely good at giving vent to what her unconscious desires to create. For Stephanie, the Dino Tea Cups symbolise the gruesomeness of birth and the disappointments of a barren woman.
Art has no boundaries and Stephanie does not believe in limiting herself to sculptures; she is also an avid photographer, tattoo designer, painter, and writer. Stephanie’s work has also been displayed at local art shows.
Courtesy Stephanie Strong