29 July 2016

Relics Scroll 9: You Only Live Once

For my RELICS exhibit, I made ten scrolls bearing American English platitudes that could be construed to have philosophical or spiritual meanings. See all of the scroll posts here.

"You only live once." Which kind of means "just do it" or "carpe diem." You've got one life to live, so live right. Live life to its fullest. Take a chance.

I took the phrase literally, though. Do we only live once? Popular science says that the human body replaces itself every 7 years or so. This isn't actually true, but many of the cells in our body have very short lifespans -- stomach cells last about a week, skin cells no longer than 3 or 4 weeks, and fat cells 8 years (that explains a lot). At the cellular level at least, we constantly make ourselves anew.

For this scroll I chose a verse from the Upanishads that is a metaphor for rebirth:
When a caterpillar has come to the end of a blade of grass, it reaches out to another blade, and draws itself over to it
Tech notes: The background is three colors (yellow, blue and magenta) with circular masks cut from paper and stencils for the large cell shapes. The large text is stenciled and the small text rubber stamped.


Andrew Stone said...

I find cell division fascinating...both my kids were studying mitosis and meiosis in school this year. I like your big red cells and the small stamped text.

Annie B said...

I'm fascinated too, Andrew. So amazing that all that stuff is going on inside us all the time.