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Art Show: 10th Annual Ripped Off

The Journey of Ishtar

by john christopher borrero

Banner for 10th Annual Ripped Off art show

Art: The Journey of Ishtar by Artist john christopher borrero
For this year's RIPPED OFF show, I have the pleasure of ripping one of Lauren Abram's polymer jewelry pieces.

I wanted to try and keep as much of the shape and design as I could, because it was so beautiful and just honored Lauren's piece by adding story and folklore to it... giving it some ancient meaning.

I wanted to create something that looked like something that would turn up at an archeological dig. A relic. I chose the imagery and story from Babylonian mythology and settled on the story of Ishtar. Ishtar was the Babylonian goddess of love, war, fertility and sex. One story in particular resonated for me. The story goes like this...

Ishtar had a lover, named Tammuz. He was a god of vegetation and she cared for him very deeply. There are different accounts of what happened to him, but what the accounts share is that he ended up in the Underworld, unable to come back. Ishtar desperately missed him and pleaded for his release, but was denied. Angered and desperate to have him back, she decided to descend into the Underworld and bring him back herself.

On the way, she endured many trials and passed seven challenges at seven gates before she even had a chance to see him and save him. During her journey, while she was in Hell, she refused to allow there to be growth and love on Earth. This added pressure to the ruler of the Underworld to release Tammuz. She did eventually save Tammuz and bring him back to Earth, and with his return came the return of plants, nature and love.

I made a pendant that could have been made to prepare Ishtar for her journey into the Underworld, and I've called the piece "The Journey of Ishtar".

It is 5" long and made of found objects and recycled materials, with precious stones and jewels. -The two primary stones are Jasper. Jasper symbolizes strength, protection and courage to speak out, which she needed to argue for the freedom of her lover. -The six gems at the top half of the pendant are emeralds. Emeralds symbolize calm, balance and focus, which she would have top have to endure the many trials. -Then come yellow sapphires. Sapphires symbolize truth, which would fuel her conviction to continue her descent regardless of the cost. -And finally cicada wings which symbolize immortality and resurrection, to aid in the journey back above ground.

THANKS LAUREN for partnering with me this year. It was a pleasure!

Detail Images

Detail Image for art The Journey of Ishtar

Detail pics

Detail Image for art The Journey of Ishtar

Detail pics

Detail Image for art The Journey of Ishtar

Lauren's Original Piece


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