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Galerie Sommerlath

"The Yin + the Yang of it" Original Etching by Ellen Jewett

"The Yin + the Yang of it" Original Etching by Ellen Jewett

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Ellen Jewett's print "Yin and Yang in it" plunges into profoundly esoteric and symbolic realms. The vertical composition, divided into two parts, immediately draws attention to a dualistic dialogue. Two contrasting crosses appear - the wider, shorter one in the lower third, suggesting the infra-world, a subterranean world, a cemetery perhaps, and the slender one in the upper part, crossing the two worlds, the two spaces of the etching, and symbolizing spiritual ascent, the whole story of transcendence embodied by the One also known as "the watching spirit". The intersection of the vertical and horizontal axes can represent the symbolic outline of the human experience.

The symbolism of Yin and Yang permeates the work, both in its title and in its construction and content, with the background contrasting with the luminosity of the two main crosses and actors, inquiring the universal principle of duality that echoes the Taoist concept of opposing but complementary forces. The artist's emphasis on the "in it" underlines the omnipresence of this ambivalence inherent in all aspects of existence, be it the infinitely small or the infinitely big, microcosm and macrocosm, the visible and the non-visible, the mortal and the immortal, and so on.

In this space, a floating form, whose movement is reinforced by what might correspond to its hair in the wind. It's not just one figure, but two. By examining the two characters, we envisage the possibility of a postmortem soul transition, suspended between angelic strength (lighter, winged form) and earthly attachments (darker form below the first). This evokes themes of rites of passage from one world to another, the complex dance between feminine and masculine energies, as embodied by yin and yang, Shakti and Shiva, sun and moon, life force and consciousness, life and death... Is it an angel holding a man's body like a bird of prey seizing its victim? Is it a divided soul that has lost its way and is seeking to find itself again? Is it a spiritual being seeking to save the soul of a freshly dead man? Other shapes can be glimpsed on the right, ghostly presences. Like all symbolic works with primitive connotations, it's up to each viewer to find their own resonance and recreate a story from the artwork. The cross, a symbol of union and plenitude, and the two contrasting figures suspended in mid-air, serve as a focal point for questioning attachment to the earthly world of illusions known as Maya. This contemplation extends to the finitude and ephemerality of human existence, activating primal fears inherent in the passage to other worlds.

Ellen’s etching visually explores the ongoing transformation between two distinct realms: the world of the living and that of the dead, as well as the realm of internal struggles, depicting themes of death, liberation and rebirth. The artwork is meticulously presented, framed, signed, and titled by the artist.

PERIOD: Mid 20th Century
CONDITION: Excellent
MEASUREMENTS: Height: 15" Width: 13.6" Depth: 1.25"
CREATOR: Ellen Jewett

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