The transformational aspects of the dragonfly had great significance for this client, who works as a Sacred Path doula. That means she works with individuals at the end of their lives and their families. The dragonfly, always a meaningful totem in her life, took on even greater significance as she started working with people who were reckoning with death. As she explained to me, the dragonfly and the larva can’t communicate with each other, they don’t know what they once were, or what they might become. The metaphor for the end of life is powerful. My own fascination with dragonflies is more mundane; they are beautiful and I am amazed at how the larva and the mature form are both amazing predators, in two entirely different environments. The larvae live underwater, stalking the bottom of ponds and creeks eating insects, tadpoles and tiny fish. The dragonfly itself catches its prey in midair. In midair!!! What other creature is master of two states of matter like that?
The ring is five across in diameter and the wings extend about six feet across. I like the way the wings break free of the ring, visually and metaphorically. Honestly, I love almost any project where we have to think metaphorically to achieve the greatest outcome.
Our friend Jason Hanna of B.B. Barns took these drone images of the whole project. It looks like a piece of exercise equipment called a kettlebell. It’s actually an infinity walking loop. The client practices walking meditation and wanted a path that she could follow. As you can see from the images, the space is limited. The loop idea, developed by the client and Jason, was a perfect solution. When walking the loop, you trace a circle around the dragonfly and onto the path. Of course, the dragonfly side can just be used as a regular patio hang-out space too. I hope to have another drone shot when the whole thing grows in.
I love the deconstructed view of a mosaic, loaded into the truck and ready for installation. The wings are a marble from Georgia called Etowah. The red body and eyes are scraps salvaged from a countertop fabricator. I don’t know anything about their origins. Pennsylvania bluestone makes up the background. The surrounding ring is Absolute Black granite, unfinished side up, giving it a grayer appearance and providing more texture than the slick, shiny side. The patio itself is sandstone from Tennessee.