LEAF EVOLUTION : AMBER - SOURCES
Amber was known to the Greeks as electrum and it's quality of generating electricity when rubbed was observed at an early date. In Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy the alternative reality he imagines uses "anbaric" power, our "electricity", but with a Latin rather than Greek derivation of the word.
I am associating the element of fire with the energy of electricity in its natural forms of lightning and amber, also with the light of sun and stars.
The lightning is mirrored to refer to the alchemical phrase "as above, so below".
Many of the engravings contain an upward pointing triangle - a symbol of fire. The engraving around the heart and throat refers to "Amor" - "love" (also my middle name spelt backwards). The word has a similar warm sound to "amber".
The alchemical process here is calcination, the consuming of the baser substances in an element by fire.
The lion, symbol of Leo, ruled by the sun, here consumes it.
At the feet is Kircher's design for a sunflower clock, referring indirectly to William Blake's Sunflower poem. The sunflower is a favourite symbol of mine, the whole plant referring to the body and the black seed head referring to the "black sun" of the mystics.
On the left is an engraving of a lizard preserved in amber, from the collection of curiosities owned by Athanasius Kircher. On the right are four female figures, symbolising the four elements, which was part of the original inspiration for this series.