The Mask and the Mirror – Part 3 By Sara Wright

Artist Debra Fritts

One concrete way of accomplishing this change is to submerge ourselves in the rest of Nature and stay open to the appearance of animals, birds, plants, etc., and by paying close attention to images and words, nudges, synchronicities, dreams, and fantasies. Especially while caregiving, perhaps the most exhausting job of all. S/he provides us with a means to deal with the crisis of Covid 19 by staying in the present moment as much as we possibly can. Debra’s flowers/ four-leaf clovers, owls, stars, all speak to the importance of the presence of nature in different ways.

It is hard to miss the change of expression on Everywoman’s face. Held by the bear, her eyes are focused and there is a sense of peace that permeates the woman’s countenance. Clearly, Everywoman is able to be present to what is. This woman has once again found home.

To the right and below the moon there is a small leaf-like image that seems to be drifting. When I asked Debra what the image was she responded that the leaf was a simplified four-leaf clover. It symbolized the role that luck plays in the spread of an impersonal virus, but memories of being with her grandfather on Sunday afternoons searching for four-leaf clovers, and the way the two were connected with nature were also part of the reason she included this image. Once again we see the archetypal and the personal intersecting in Debra’s work. On an archetypal level, the impersonal presence of luck/trickster/fool determines viral outcomes, on a personal level this symbol attaches Debra to nature and her love for family.

Continue reading “The Mask and the Mirror – Part 3 By Sara Wright”

The Mask and the Mirror – Part 2 by Sara Wright


Artist Debra Fritts

When I asked Debra about this circle she said “the circle around the eye is symbolic of the moon, a nightly ritual of seeing the moon.”  Curiously, women as ‘seers’ have an intimate relationship with the moon. Both eyes seem to be able to stare directly through the mask. The woman’s lips are parted; she is breathing but there is no sense that she is about to speak.

The length of the woman’s neck is accentuated by its distinct slate blue tones. This neck seems especially vulnerable – stretched perhaps to endurance. Suddenly it occurs to me that it is also a neck, like a chicken’s neck, that is ready for the chopping block. Has this woman lost her voice? Her ability to breathe? Is there a threat of being separated from her body? The suggestion of a body ends at the woman’s shoulders so we are left wondering…

Since our feelings and emotions reside in our bodies the suggestion here is that this woman may be without access to her body on an instinctual level. If so she is unable to protect herself. Blue is a color that is sometimes associated with death. In some Native traditions, like that of the Zuni and the Lakota Sioux blue is the color of the Underworld. Particularly touching is the pale four petaled flower to the lower right of the left half of the relief, a flower without a stem or root, or is this a wheel of some kind, one that is in motion – whirling – chaos? To my mind a number of aspects of this portrayal speak to the presence of death. Continue reading “The Mask and the Mirror – Part 2 by Sara Wright”

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