Ophelia (art) - digital painting of a doll by Barbara Agreste

Ruby Red Hair

Ruby Red Hair Tao and Playing Cards - Pop Surrealism Series Drawing of a woman with Red Hair, printed on her dress are the images of playing cards, a heart, the Tao Symbol, and Snakes.

Ruby Red Hair, Tao,
and Playing Cards.

Ruby Red Hair: Drawing Series – pastels on acid free paper.

This is a drawing of a woman with Ruby Red Hair, or vivid dark red hair: she is the icon of wild nature when the human meets with the darkest and most enigmatic side of the earth. The carmine, vivid crimson colour of her hair represents a particular moment in time when her  menstrual cycle is in the bleeding phase. This phase is very strange: the hair of the woman hasn’t always been red, but when the bleeding time comes, her hair turns suddenly carmine,

and the atmosphere around her body becomes imbued with danger. It is both danger for her own health as the bleeding can be heavy leaving her without living energy, and danger for others, because this is a bad time for normal social interaction. This critical, sanguineous time of transformation, like a snake changing its skin, operates often drastic changes in the female body, mind, and emotions, so much as to put her in a state of temporary idleness, illness or delirium. There are few iconic drawings encircled in the tiny squares printed on the neckline of this woman’s dress, and on the second one to the left the image of the Tao is visible as a symbol of the eternal cycles of the Earth: eternal love and hate, good and bad, light and darkness, happiness and sadness, madness and sanity, life and death. The Tao also represents the the rise and fall of the sea tides, and the fluctuating lunar phases, together with the coldness and warmth of the seasons. The power of nature is also highlighted by the snakes depicted in the tiny squares both on the right and left shoulder of the woman, and this woman is in a sense another version of the mermaid, actually her earthen version, walking in pain as her feet bleed in the harsh world of solid rock opposed to a water one. The snakes are inextricably linked to the seasons of human life, and tightly connected to fertility, they remind us of little fetuses, and they are functioning as a thriving element that incessantly moves and rests on the oscillating night and day cycles of the planet.


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Dolls - Ophelia (art, paintings) series by Barbara Agreste