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The Last Tree

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 encased in a altered vintage Buckle 'frame’. Gold-Filled pen nib connecting us with Shelley’s poem ‘Prometheus Unbound’... and a bronze clock key... for altering time. A solid brass clock counterweight hand engraved with the continents of the world. On torn cotton strips, dyed with pine bark, the last lines of ‘Prometheus Unbound’ have been written. A small dried pinecone, capped with silver, links us back to the origins of ‘tree’.


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