Sculpture: Ochun


Close up of bridge by Ochun

Artist: Martha Jackson-Jarvis

Martha Jackson-JarvisMartha Jackson-Jarvis, based in Maryland, has been creating works for art for more than three decades. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture/Ceramics from Antioch University and a Bachelor of Arts from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. She has created commissions pieces for private companies and public entities throughout the United States, as well as exhibited work in a wide variety of museums.  For a complete biography or to contact Ms. Jackson-Jarvis, visit her studio's website at www.jacksonjarvisstudio.com.

Artist's Statement

Martha Jackson-Jarvis, 2000

"Ashe is the animating force that moves both earth and the cosmos. The selection of my site was predicated on the high energy and pronounced forces of Ashe present on the site. The dynamic topography seemed to reveal secrets and fragments of the many forces at work in the landscape of our lives. I dedicate this work to Ochun, a deity in the pantheon of Yoruba religion and mythology.

Ochun is the female deity of rivers, streams and creeks. She is known for her alluring and sensual nature. Scholars have equated Ochun with the Greek goddess Aphrodite and the Roman goddess Venus.

Ochun is usually accompanied and guarded by Ogun, the God of Iron, War, Hunting, and Blacksmithing. Ogun is believed to the "clearer of the path." Ogun's presence is revealed in iron cauldrons found in the Garden.

The two cast-iron cauldrons were used as molds to cast multiple mound forms made of red clay, river sand, and cement. The mounds are placed as markers or energy points along viewing meridians within the selected site. The dynamic energy of the site is directed through strategically located elements. The massive, fallen red oak directs energy across the creek and serves as a metaphor of life and death. Forces of decay and rejuvenation are apparent as the limbs of the fallen tree are extended around the sweeping curve of the creek's oxbow embankment. The finger extensions of the interwoven tree limbs gently touch the placed stones and fertile earth of the central peninsula. This culminating touch symbolizes the return to the earth source. Large stones were placed to mark the event and will remain after the total decay of the tree form.

The root formation of the decaying oak tree was established using two root systems of fallen sourwood trees. This suggests the energy of new growth is directed toward the heavens. Just beyond the roots, spiked rhythms of "fat lighter" strakes begin. I view the addition of carved fat lighter as a gesture of hope, dreams and destinies recorded and accumulated as we travel across the symbolic tree of life."

Installation: 2000

Installing Ochun's mounds

Current Condition: December 2013