Perihelion by Meta Dunkly Arnold
Medium: mixed media
26 x 9 x 3 inches
Artist Statement: The three octagonal frames represent the past, present, and future. The past is represented by an antique image of a mother holding a blank book and a baby holding a flower and taking his first steps: beginnings and possibilities. The present has a tree in bloom encircled by the words "La Bonne Vie": the midst of a flourishing life. But the future is unknowable, half-hidden between a veil and a scroll of astronomical symbols. The door opens to show a celestial map: the future is written in the stars. Each frame is captioned with a fortune-cookie paper, and connected by a flow of antique decoration: velvet, ribbon, paper flowers and fabric leaves. The effect is like a Victorian fortune-teller's parlor. "Perihelion" is when a planet comes closest to the sun. The title suggests that today is the closest we can come to the future; a fortune-teller may try to read the stars, but their meaning remains just out of reach.
Bio: Meta Arnold works in assemblage and mixed media. Many of her pieces are kinetic, interactive, and narrative, designed to lead the viewer on a journey of discovery. Meta also teaches children's classes at Art Sparks in Hopewell and the Arts Council of Princeton. She sees artmaking as a perpetual treasure hunt to find magic hidden in the ordinary.
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