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Ancestor and more art by Anthony Stevens

Ancestor
53 x 35.5 x 1 cm (h x w x d)
Hand embroidery mixed textile and mixed threads

Ancestor came into being as the result of a dream I had about my Grandmother, who was an avid collector of elephants which she proudly displayed on shelves which went around the circumference of her kitchen. For me, the elephant symbolises memory, like the saying goes, ‘an elephant never forgets. This can be a good thing in some circumstances and a burden in others; just as the elephant can be a noble and free roaming creature or a chained creature of labour.
When I think about memory, questions relating to the nature of time come up: Where does the past go? Do the past and the future exist outside of the present?
In certain branches of Buddhism and Shamanism, it is believed that the actions we take now directly have an effect on the lives of our ancestors, seven generations into the past and seven generations into the future, where if you think about it, we will be the ancestors. Obviously, we have no real way of validating these beliefs, but it does seem apparent that it is only in the now that we are truly sovereign and that what we do counts, towards our own individual futures and the futures of those we are connected with.



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