CORALS

          Story: According to the Greek mythology, the apotropaic power of coral derived from its relationship with evil, since corals appeared as a result of a monster’s death. Medusa (one of the three gorgons) would turn a man to stone just by a single look from her eye. Hence Perseus killed her and carried the dead body to the sea, letting the blood run from the serpentine locks into the water. Weakened by his adventures, Perseus fell asleep upon the shore, forgetting that the gorgon’s evil spirit persisted in death. As it flowed into the water, the blood of Medusa turned the waving tendrils of the ocean growths into stone. These became red and coagulated into fantastic designs, petrified in the depths. When Perseus awoke, he was terrified by the new danger created. Acknowledging his anxiety, wise Athena endowed the new formations with every power for good to offset the harm done by the gorgon while alive. Thus, corals are believed to bring harmony in human existence.

          Some ancients called coral the Sea Tree of the Lunar Mother Goddess, the source of the fertility of the waters. Growing often in the form of a tree, coral blends the symbolism associated with the world tree and the abyss so as to emphasize the roots of the axis mundi.

            Technology: screen-printing on cotton, sewing.

            Materials used: polyurethane foam, colourful plastic straws, rocks, sand, shells; diverse synthetic textiles and wadding.