Heather Ellyard Photo Title : Heather Shain Ellyard
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Henayni/Under the Covers, 2003

Jewish Museum of Australia, Melbourne Australia

KABBALAH is at the mystical end of the Judaic religious spectrum. It holds fast to the belief in the link between Above and Below, using various strategies, including the holiness of the Hebrew alphabet, the Gematria which is a coded numerical system for interpreting letters and words, meditation, study, and sexual union to approach a dialogue with the Divine. In diagrammatic form, the lightning flash of the 10 Sefirot, or Divine Emanations, indicates the way a balanced and reverent life should be lived.

The Hebrew title, HENAYNI (here I am), comes from the following:
When God asked the righteous, such as Moses or the prophets, where are you? the response has been deep and clear: here I am. So too with the righteous-in-bed. here I am in spirit and body, reverent and fully present.

The double bed cover shows the lightning flash with the Crown at the head and the Shekkinah at the foot. The Numinous Seeds (holy semen) flow from the Crown, through the flash and into the Shekkinah or female life-force. Surrounding the Sefirot, barely visible, is a dithyramb of coloured threads representing the joy of passionate love. Each of the 10 coloured threads crosses at least one other. All are random. Some catch a seed.

The canopy is a shelter-of-veils both revealing and hiding glimpses of knowledge. Botany represents the life-force. The Alphabet indicates a spiritual attitude to the Word. The texts are explanatory. The coloured threads and seeds (pearls) are still contained: there are 100 sachets of colour (10 x 10 male and female life-lines) and each pouch contains 10 waiting seeds.


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