Through a Virgin Born

1996 - 2006

Through a Virgin Born                           1996 - 2006


Three Torsos and a table mat, that’s how it all started. Mealtimes at home, either with his first wife or later alone, were never a bundle of unremitting ‘bavadage’. AMA would often sit at his place, chin lowered, staring at the wound straw table mat before him. Observing a straight line of woven organic matter once turned back on itself, wound round the starting point and with this woven pattern repeated a fair number of times, the single line expands to become an oval, a two dimensional form. The symbol ’1′ becomes the symbol ’0′, the whole contains the point of departure – the point of entry. Play with these words, ally them to the thinking behind some of AMA’s others works of this period and the potential for sexual symbolism becomes evident.

At this time, AMA had been working with a photographic image of a highly reflective, plastic, shop-window display, female torso. He had recently started working with Adobe ‘Photoshop’ software and this image seemed worthy of being applied to canvas by what was then a new reprographic process, large format inkjet printing. The image of this limbless, headless, so evidently female form, molded in black plastic, lying in virgin snow was so perfectly flat that everything that such a fully rounded form might represent was disquietingly absent – the purposeful workings of the female body expurgated.

Whilst the straw coils were reminiscent of something visceral, the plastic torsos were otherwise. Adobe ‘Photoshop’ allowed AMA to layer this vacant female form amongst the woven interpretation of might well be read as intestinal organs, so evidently no part the epithelium. Just how much feminine sexuality could there be expressed by the insides of a body, itself? There’s an idea. From there on in it wasn’t sex; this interior function of the body was simply a matter of cold, clinical procedures.

The supporting row of numbers, ’1 – 9′, with only the ’5′ in an assumed place, were a set of images with which AMA was currently working. Why associate them with plastic torsos and a table mat? The connotation of a religious triptych began to emerge, the lower section depicting the every day events of those destined for greater spiritual reverence. Numerals are amongst the every day matter of scientific procedures, numbers being integral to human development, adding to the sum of life. However, in this work each unit is overlaid by a number making the sum of ’9′, a number that has no value in working to their reduction.

The begetting of life itself is something for which mankind continues to strive. Through evolution it is only through the female of the species that this is done, the potent female, but now there is science and the system. Thus in the future, will it be virgins who will reproduce – life itself may well be ‘through a virgin born’.


Mixed Media : Digital images printed on canvas with oil and acrylic paint with added acrylic panels and neon tube lighting.


108 x 179 x 9 cms.

Private Collection