HARMONY OF THE SPHERES
The ‘Harmony of the Spheres’, also known as the ‘musica universalis’, references the concept that the sun, moon and planets, in perfect motion, vibrate with a harmonious yet imperceptible sound. Marina Dempster explores the nature of perception and perspective as paradoxical, containing both illusions and truths. As only part of our world is lit up in our awareness and experience at any given time, it requires that we question what we think we ‘know’ and practice being open to the ‘unknown’.
This quartet of sculptures emerged during the global pandemic while concentric waves of multiple crises revealed themselves. Seeded one bead at a time, the ubiquitous form of a basketball has been transformed into a sacred artifact using a contemporary translation of a Pre-Columbian Huichol beading technique of embedding beads into a combination of beeswax and pine resin, traditionally called ‘cera de Campeche’. While the echo of the ball is retained in shape, it has undergone a transmutation in patterning to explore tensions held in paradox.
"As I circumambulate each ball, bead by bead, panel by panel, the swooping lines blur in their meaning. Are they abstract divisions or irrefutable interconnections, boundaries, fault lines, veins or unseen energetic pathways and meridians? Bead by bead the micro meets the macro and a playful object becomes a sacred artifact of contemplation. ‘Harmony of the Spheres’ is an invitation to play with a shifting of orientations and perspectives. What barriers are blocking us from awakening our imaginations, and our personal and collective power to find harmony, to heal and to evolve? ”
Intended as an invitation to lean into our blind spots and inner visions with tender and rapt attention, the artist asks herself how she might harmonize with the cosmos, the earth and humanity when she herself is out of tune? She explores what may empower us to make amends with our collective ‘home’, ourselves and each other, and to unearth the natural technologies of all creation…the kind that can uphold the cosmos and every cell in our bodies at the same time? How might we shift orientations and seed new perspectives so as to turn tipping points into our most powerful and healing turning points?
Alive with blooming, evolving natural processes, the generation from pollen spore to pink-petalled cosmic flower is depicted. At once ordered and chaotic, patterns emerge from the atomic to the astronomical through fractals, spirals, foam, waves, tiling, cracks, flows and meanders that harmonize with nature.
Materials: Basketball, beeswax and pine resin, crystal, glass, and metallic seed beads.
Agape is the divine and selfless love of charity and care for others. The world in need of our stewardship and care is projected in topographical view of heights and depths inlaid on the orb. What was formerly dribbled, tossed, dunked and slammed is transformed into a delicately iridescent, ethereal mystery.
Materials: Basketball, beeswax and pine resin, crystal, glass, and metallic seed beads
Initially ‘Aware’ was inspired by the humble sea urchin, found on all five continents. Slow and methodical, they can show us how to manoeuvre with tenacity and patience. As the work evolved at the height of the global pandemic, the issue of boundaries, while sharing a collective planetary experience, became more poignant and divisive.
The final iteration of the sculpture is both reminiscent of a microscopic image of a virus, and an aerial view of individuals isolated from one another. The golden pathways concurrently illuminate a harmonic convergence of a new strain of emerging consciousness.
Basketball, beeswax and pine resin, crystal, glass, and metallic seed beads
‘Awake’ utilizes an Olympic basketball, a form used intentionally as a fitting metaphor for the “oneness” of our world. A crystalline saturnian planet is bound by orbital rings and the unity of its colours expands in four directions from pointed arrows over the surface of the sphere. A mother of pearl heirloom makes up the centre of an eye that opens and shuts while the air inflating the form breathes itself.
Basketball, beeswax and pine resin, crystal, glass, and metallic seed bead, mother of pearl heirloom.