This diptych is formed by three photographic negatives: a serpent tattoo covering a young woman’s upper torso, a negative of a snake skin and a negative of a serpent’s head where watercolors slip across the surface like water slipping across rocks in a stream.
In many cultures, particularly in dry regions such as the American Southwest, snakes are associated with regeneration, fertility, and rain.
The serpent often symbolizes female energy in the universe and has been represented in Egyptian, Cretan, Greek and Mexican Aztec cultures by a snake rising from a deity’s head. Since rain can resemble snakes, Hopi Indians used the reptiles in a ritual dance to bring this Earth-fertilizing water.
The intimate appropriation of these ritualistic symbols in the form of permanent tattoos that people choose to carry for their lifetime, returns some of these ancient resonances back into our everyday contemporary lives.