My series of sculptural pieces, titled Lupercalia, explores an ancient Roman pagan ritual of purification involving animal sacrifice in which women were beaten with dead animal skins to induce fertility. Interestingly, between the 15th and 16th centuries, the gore was rubbed off and replaced with sweet romance by Chaucer and Shakespeare who repackaged the violent ritual as Valentine’s Day.
My Lupercalia series summons the darker side of this festivity by reaching underneath the veneer that conceals the suffering and violence from which it originated. Each thin and yet resistant veil in Lupercalia is a manifestation of the anxiety, apprehension, and disquiet many feel as this day approaches along with its demands, expectations, and desires.
The series invites us to reconsider the heartache that is entailed in loving someone.