The Gossamer Prison

by Sonja van Kerkhoff + Sen McGlinn, 2004

artwork, copyrighted by Sonja van Kerkhoff         

Zaostrog Monastery, Croatia, July 2004.

Photos: Julie Fowler-Smith, Australia.

Photo: Julie Fowler-Smith, Australia.

"The Gossamer Prison" consists of a sheer curtain that shows its soul in the emptied spaces of cutout letters, which read (in Persian):

"Free thyself from the fetters of this world, and loose thy soul from the prison of self."

Persian was chosen because of the beauty of the flowing shekasteh script, and because it a medium for mysticism, especially in the hands of poets.

Curtains such as this are made to be seen through, while creating a private space. In this work however the viewer is required to focus on the barrier of the curtain's surface, to see the lettering there.

The theme is an ancient truth: the limitations we impose on ourselves constrain us in a real way, yet we can break those bonds as easily as brushing aside a flimsy curtain.

The text is a citation from the Persian Hidden Word, #40 by Baha'u'llah, founder of the Bahai Faith

< Photo: Julie Fowler-Smith, Australia.


2015    "Kaipara Coast Sculpture 2016"    8th annual sculpture show, Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens, 4km north of Kaukapakapa Village, Auckland, Aotearoa | New Zealand

2015    "Northland Sculpture"    4th biennial sculpture show in the Quarry Gardens, 37A Russell Road, Whangarei, Aotearoa | New Zealand

2015    The Prison of Self   Print edition related to this work

2015    HOMETOWN    one day arts festival coordinated by Peen en Ui, Leiden city centre, Leiden, The Netherlands

2008    Threads of the Day   Leids Wevershuis, Leiden Museum of Weaving, Leiden, The Netherlands

2004"Old House" Nine Dragon Heads Festival,   Zaostrog Monastery, Croatia

artwork by Sonja van Kerkhoff + Sen McGlinn
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