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Kelsey Bowen - That Which Cannot Hold


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Kelsey Bowen
That Which Cannot Hold
Rabbit and unicorn with lustered chain and pomegranate & knife
Centuries depict the unicorn as elusive, ever out of reach; growing into myth as time expands without recorded tale of encounter. The tale dissipates to imagination, twisting in chase through a dark wood, dissolving like a wisp of smoke between the shadows of trees. Perhaps one of the most captivating visual accounts of the unicorn is a 500 year old tapestry that hangs in the Met
Cloisters in New York City. This textile illustration depicts the unicorn captured and content, resting in a lush garden and bound by a golden chain. Its details hint at more human desires; fertility, loyalty, quiet domestication. The unicorn becomes a symbol of desire, of a chase ended. Its gilded threads woven like a warm breath mutter the long forgotten tale; passing over and under deep greens as if once again we are lost in the woods. Through the unicorn we see our own wanting and reaching, our fingers grasping the falling though silvery white mist. We are tied to this history by the impossibility of possessing that which we find most beautiful and by the desire to capture that which we cannot hold.