Celtic Corner
Original designs inspired by the art of the Celts
by Alastair Luke

The Beard Pullers

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Looking at the Book of Kells, one will find many wondrous examples of anthropomorphic, zoomorphic and plant motifs. Each representation has been given many different interpretations. In this design I have used tree, beast, bird, serpent and human figures in order to tell a story of my own.

We start with the guys in the middle. As you can see they are shaking hands and pulling each others beards simultaneously. I use this to illustrate how we can accept and reject certain parts of ourselves. The beast stands for our fears as well as our struggle to overcome them. The serpents portray change, or the 'death and rebirth cycle', along with the wisdom that we gain when we learn about ourselves. The birds depict the eventual union that emerges between the inner and outer selves, or put another way, our unconscious mind moves into consciousness. So as all this goes on we learn and grow symbolized by the tree of life.

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