Paper Dreams: Pamela Blotner : Evil, Rappaccini’s Tiller
Evil, Rappaccini’s Tiller
60” x 28”, wood, rubber, found objects
"Rappaccini’s Daughter,” a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, inspired the creation of this sculpture. In Hawthorne’s story telling, Giacomo Rappaccini, is an Italian medical researcher who cultivates a garden of poisonous plants, which are tended by his beautiful daughter. As time passes, she becomes resistant to the poisons but poisonous to others. The traditional story of a poisonous maiden has been traced back to India.
I made the sculpture after a trip Bosnia in 1996, shortly after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords which ended 5 years of ethnic conflict. Still, there were pockets of antagonism and violence throughout the country, making me aware of the seeds of nationalism and ethnic hatred that been sown. My response was to make a cultivation tool, a tiller, capable of sowing both good and evil plant life.
- Pamela Blotner