Like other artists working from a Biblical theme, this carving is full of symbolism. Shulamite is the feminine form of a Hebraic word meaning “The Peaceful One”. I carved her face slightly uplifted, eyes closed, and lips gently pursed to reflect a feeling of complete tranquility. She says of herself “I am black but comely” (or beautiful). Therefore I stained her face with red mahogany, and her hair with ebony. I also carved her to appear ethnic, which includes the braided hair. The veil speaks of her separation from all others save her husband, and the gold chain is reminiscent of adornments on African women I recall from my time living in East Africa. The love birds are carved from Italian Carrara Alabaster and speak to the purity of true love. And since alabaster breaks easily, to the fragility of love. The one bird’s outstretched wing symbolizes the over shadowing of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
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