Ritual 1: Wax Shadows, is a series of works about the place of rituals in contemporary life. Ritual patterns are part of the everyday, bridging the gap between what we have and what we desire. They may be performed consciously or not, shared with family or community, or remain private. This body of work refers to an old ritual from Poland, which involves melting of wax, creation of moon-like discs; shadows of which are then used for making of readings. The ritual is normally performed on a last night of October, traditionally by a gathering of women, and more specifically maidens. Pagan in origin, this ritual is known and alive across Slavic lands, although it takes different guises. It’s predictions focus on hopes for finding perfect love before other general future fortunes.
Darkness of a night, a group of women, a solitary candle, a red ribbon to protect from evil spirits, a key. Wax is melted into an odorous lava and poured by a maiden, through the key, into icy water. It transforms into a relic of her future. Once settled, she holds it before a candle, and the women search the shadows for clues of things to come.
The work combines a forensic look at ritual elements with romantic longing for powers they promise to possess. On one hand, it alludes to a rational urge to dismiss such rituals as zabobony (superstitions in Polish), and on the other hand it shifts our attention, allowing our subconscious to project onto the shadows and play with their interpretation.