Photograph: Alexey Moskvin

About the piece

My piece called 26:41 is named after the proverb Matthew: 26:41:

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

When I explored the theme of ‘flesh’ I kept coming back to the aspect that flirts with religion. I was interested in the carnal aspect of the word flesh and its association with sin, evilness and immoral temptation. I quickly recognised that creating something about flesh in a religious context would be central to what I would make.

Being a jewellery-maker is what probably influenced my making a neckpiece, however, not one that can really be worn.

26:41 gives the viewer a glimpse of something pink and fleshy (hopefully sexually suggestive) behind a lace veil evocative of a confessional screen before which all evil thoughts are revealed and pleading for forgiveness from a higher power – God. I chose black lace as the ‘confessional screen’ because of it’s power to conjure up funerals (a shroud worn against death) or whores (inviting a peek at one’s skin without revealing all – a mischievous taunt). Therein lies its inherent symbolism of chastity and debauchery, aiding in the art of seduction which can then lead to temptation as the mind go astray into all kinds of ‘dark’ places – the very place that sets the stage for my piece. The obscured fleshy substance behind the veil (or confessional) is encased in a round metal ‘container’ representing a rose window with the cut out shape taken from a rose window motif. I applied gold leaf to the surface in order to give it an elevated presence like that of religious icons found in cathedrals. The piece then hangs on pink (flesh-coloured) rosary beads. Accompanying the piece is the quote of  Matthew 26:41 typed in an ancient manuscript font and in a flesh tone placing the entirety of the work in context.



All photography of 26:41 by Alexey Moskvin


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