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Art of the Day: Tuesday May 22, 2007

Flesh & Blood

- by When Paddison

This week's theme: Red Fruit

They make our mouth water. They are good for us and they are good to eat.

They make wonderful desserts, tasty breakfasts, quick snacks... but that can be said of all fruit. But that colour - that red. It's that colour that catches our eye. It's the colour we find ourselves commenting on. It's those amazing reds that set them apart.

Art: Flesh & Blood by Artist When Paddison

For the many historic symbolic reasons below I have chosen this work to represent the debate of Dan Edward's work and my feelings surrounding Pro-Life/Pro Choice. Dan's work and his choice to target Britney Spears is not so much the direction I took here, but of the issues around the right of woman to choose what they do with their own flesh and blood. It's about pulling back the delicate membrane veil surrounding the social, emotional, physical, and moral implications put on a woman when it comes to procreation through historical context to the pomegranate fruit.


Throughout history the pomegranate has represented so many attributes that come into play when discussing the topic that Dan Edwards put forth with his work, that of the Pro-Choice/Pro-Life debate.

The pomegranate has been equated to the flesh of the human as it bears 613 seeds, the same number of nerves of the human body. It is often the symbol of human DNA and the symbol for the beating heart in the medical field. It is no wonder that the British Medical Association, Royal College of Midwives and Gynecology, Royal College of Obstetricians use the pomegranate in their coat of arms.

At the core of the Pro-Choice/Pro Life debate is the differences of opinion - When a fetus becomes flesh and blood? When does it become human? Is it at conception? Or is it when the nervous system, the brain and organs, the heart has developed and is self sustaining? p>

The pomegranate is considered the symbol for the price of knowledge, representing both condemnation and forgiveness, and was often depicted in Biblical Medieval art as the symbol of salvation from sin in the left hand of the Christ child. Those that base thier view of this topic in a Christian religous context believe that life begins at the moment of conception. This places condemnation on the act of abortion. The pomegranate also is a dull representation of both condemnation and forgiveness.

The pomegranate is the symbol of death. In Roman mythology Persephone was bound to Hades and the Underworld for 3 months of the year for partaking in the fruit. For this the world was cast into darkness and winter, when all things died. The other nine months were dedicated to the seasons of growth and harvest. The pomegranate has played a dual roll of of fertility and of barrenness. Of life and of death. At the core again of this debate is when do we decide an abortion is the death of a human? When do we decide that it is just a glob of non sustaining flesh and blood? When does science rule in this debate? When does religion rule?

Whenever this debate arises it is most assuredly to provoke strong emotions. Hostilities have gone to the point of rallies where people will throw themselves before abortion clinics, will throw blood on women who seek to obtain an abortion, will even go so far as to burn clinics and assassinate doctors who offer woman the choice to legally end an unwanted pregnancy. In the minds of those so fanatically driven it is a justifiable act, a murder of a living human to stop the murder of the innocent unborn. In our recent history in the U.S. the right for a woman to obtain a legal abortion or to even obtain the day after pill is becoming a major battle once again. With that, there is one more statement about the pomegranate. The Prophet Mohammed encouraged the fruit to rid the world of envy and hate.

What I find most interesting is medicinally, the seeds of the pomegranate are considered to assist with infertility, to help bring forth conception. Ancient Greek women wore headdresses of pomegranate leaves to show they were newly wed and drank the juice of the fruit to induce pregnancy. The pomegranate was the symbol of marriage, the coming together of man and woman to create new life. It is sai


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