The Crucifix and the Stone — The Cicatrix and the Stone — Part Three

April 22, 2013

Placental mammals are those that have live birth and nourish their embryos throughout gestation via a specialized organ—the placenta—attached to the wall of the mother’s uterus. More than 5000 species exist today, from the 1.5-gram bumblebee bat to the 190-tonne blue whale, from the mole to the elephant, from the horse to the human.

This rather amazing branch on the evolutionary tree shows the ancestor of all placental mammals as a tiny, insect eating, furry-tailed creature that evolved shortly after the dinosaurs disappeared some 100 to 85 million years ago.

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Within every mammal’s womb, one end of an umbilical cord is attached to the fetus at its navel while the other end is attached to the mother at the placenta; thereby, making “the connection” between mother and fetus. In the umbilical cord, one vein carries oxygen and food from the mother’s placenta to the fetus and two arteries return deoxygenated blood and waste products, such as carbon dioxide, from the fetus back to the placenta for disposal.

So what would be the most distinguishing characteristic of placental mammals should it be possible to “line them up” for a photographic comparison? Well, in my opinion, it would be the little scar we placental mammals all carry on our belly: our belly button.

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This scar, or cicatrix, we all have is paid scant attention by any of us. Maybe noticed when removing a bit of fluff, but generally disregarded as insignificant. Well, I want to change this and focus my next sculpture on the huge symbolic importance of our belly buttons. Important, because they are a very visual and physical reminder of our connection to the female and to the mother.

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Every man has one; every female.

Simply put, if we want to create new stories that re-empower the feminine in the overly dominate male hierarchy that passes for western civilization, than what better symbol than the navel? Surely, even the Pope would have to look upon his belly button and feel some sort of connection to the female. This particular scar cannot be erased or suppressed. Ever.

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Concerning the one half of the title used in these past three blog entries — The Cicatrix and the Stone — this refers to a poster I am producing that brings together the “birth” processes of the ‘Deep Time’ sculpture (just being completed) and my next sculpture called ‘Present Time’ that will be based on the belly button. The idea behind the poster is to link the long history of evolutionary processes that give birth to more and more divergent and varied species; from stone to human, so to speak.

I’m not quite sure what form this next sculpture will take, but I trust the birth process of imagination.

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