dama x EMBLM
Amanda Maciel Antunes is an L.A. based multidisciplinary artist working in painting, costuming, performance, writing, and installation art. She was born and raised in the countryside of the state of São Paulo, Brazil in the small town of Salto de Pirapora.
Genesis Escapulário Necklace
The images on the front and back of the Genesis Necklace were drawn by Antunes in relation to her latest body of work ITHACA – inspired by recent interpretations of Homer’s Odyssey, including Emily Wilson’s 2018 translation of the epic poem and C.P. Cavafy’s poem “Ithaka.”
Antunes has chosen Amazon Watch as the organization to which a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each Genesis Necklace will be donated. Since 1996, Amazon Watch has worked to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of Indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. They partner with Indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability, and the preservation of the Amazon’s ecological systems.
Originally, the scapular may have emerged from an apron-like piece of cloth worn by monks, dating back to the 7th century. The scapular came with a set of promises for the faithful who wear them. Some of the promises are rooted in tradition. Over the centuries the religious orders adapted the basic scapular as they considered appropriate for themselves, as a result there are now several distinct designs, colors, shapes, materials and lengths in use.
In contemporary culture, scapulars are objects designed to show the wearer's pledge to a confraternity, a saint, or a way of life, as well as reminding the wearer of a promise.
My Catholic grandmother gave me my first scapular when I was fifteen, which she explained was to be worn at all times for protection and to remind myself of the promise to a life worth living. Now, I have no religious interest in the scapular, however I'm attached to the idea of an object being gifted for protection and a promise made. I designed the front and back of this piece with a drawing of an egg submerged in the ocean waters.
In each of us, salty, amniotic waters run in our veins, yielding to the rhythmic pulls of moon and sun. I believe in our ancient and primal connection to the ocean as our mother of mothers and where life begins. And where our little vessels of human consciousness can penetrate.
The egg symbolizes gestation of life. In ancient healing rituals one would withdraw into a dark cave or hole to “incubate” until a healing dream released them reborn, in the same way a baby bird crawls out of an egg. The egg evokes the beginning, the simple, the source of the creative fire point within ourselves.
The Escapulário design was created from a drawing of an egg submerged in the ocean. It’s not clear if the egg is coming out or retreating. I like to think it can be both, in motion. Combining my spiritual upbringing with my current studies of the mystical and symbolic sources of healing this object was made with the intent to symbolize our spirit moving with the waters and making form visible.