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The Last Tree: WPN 114 (Prometheus)

This is a tale of destruction and hope‭. ‬Prometheus was the world’s oldest living tree‭. ‬At‭ ‬the age of 4862‭ ‬years it was cut down for research purposes by the US Forest Service‭. ‬The‭ ‬designation 114‭ ‬refers to the 114‭ ‬similar trees cut down that year‭, ‬all for research purposes‭. ‬All 114‭ ‬trees were thousands of years old‭; ‬none as old as Prometheus‭.


‬In myth‭, ‬Prometheus is our champion‭. ‬He encourages us‭. ‬He steals fire for us‭. ‬He wants‭ ‬us to enjoy free will; hopes he can protect us from suffering‭. ‬Clashing over our fate with Jupiter‭, ‬Prometheus curses the rapacious king of the gods‭. ‬He is promptly chained to a rock for‭ ‬eternity‭. ‬Every day he is killed‭, ‬and every morning he is resurrected so he can suffer again‭. ‬The Promethean theme of suffering‭, ‬destruction and rebirth is vital to our understanding of‭ ‬Western culture‭. ‬


In 1820‭, ‬Percy Shelley wrote Prometheus Unbound‭. ‬It is a fierce‭, ‬revolutionary text that‭ ‬protests oppression and champions free will‭, ‬hope‭ & ‬idealism‭. ‬Prometheus meets Nature‭ ‬and the Earth‭; ‬feminine‭ & ‬nurturing entities‭. ‬They are deathly afraid that Jupiter is out to destroy them‭. ‬Afraid of being ruined the Earth remains silent‭. ‬Yet when pressed‭, ‬she admits to Prometheus that she is the Mother of all who suffer under Jupiter’s tyranny‭. ‬Prometheus remains compassionate‭, ‬praising the Earth for all she has sacrificed‭. ‬Encouraged‭, ‬the Earth tells him a‭ ‬secret‭. ‬There are two earthly realities‭; ‬our current harsh‭ ‬reality and another reflective shadow world‭. ‬It is from the shadow world that Prometheus‭ ‬must seek answers for Earth’s survival‭.

This necklace weaves together Promethean myth and poetry with the true story of a very‭ ‬old tree‭... ‬also named Prometheus‭. ‬The archetypal image of the‭ Prometheus Tree ‬exists on the tiny cracked fragment of‭ ‬glass at the heart of the necklace‭. ‬It casts a ghostly shadow showing a perfect world and an idealized tree‭. ‬The shadow world resembles our world but it is still only a ghostly reflection‭. ‬Will we one day be faced with the last tree? ‬From the shadow world we receive a message of hope‭: ‬It is still possible to triumph over ideologies of destruction‭. ‬‬

Fragment of Victorian Glass Lantern Slide with tree‭, ‬Sterling silver cut from 19th Century salt cellars‭, ‬Altered vintage brass shoe buckle‭, ‬Vintage brass leaf soldered to copper wire‭, ‬altered sterling hand‭, ‬brass sheet‭, ‬gold-filled chain‭, ‬found 10K gold chain bracelet‭, ‬gold-filled vintage watch segment‭, ‬Victorian gold-wire‭ ‬‘tree’‭ ‬ornament‭, ‬brass seed bead‭, ‬found vintage wire‭, ‬gold leaf‭.

Fashion Photoshoot:    Photograph: Art Zaratsyan.  Styling : Grace Chumfong (G for Grace).  Model:  Ashleigh.


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