Wild Honey

Made in 2011 for an exhibition on the Feast Day of St. John (Florence, Italy's patron saint), Wild Honey represents St. John the Baptist in the wilderness, in the act of gathering the wild honey upon which he subsists.
The key to the reading of this sculpture is the half-buried skull hidden within the base of the tree stump . in the Christian pictorial tradition, one commonly finds the skull of Adam at the foot of the cross in scenes of the crucifixion, alluding to Adam, the first forerunner of Christ, and the story of how the tree from which the Cross was made grew from a seed from the Tree of Knowledge, placed in the mouth of Adam at his burial. In this context, Adam's skull reveals John's source of nourishment (the tree stump, with its hive full of honey) as an allegory of the spiritual nourishment brought forth by the Crucifixion and Resurrection.


John's nourishment has its price, however small - John is plucking a bee off the back of his neck where he has been stung; the bee itself a precursor of John's executioner, and the sting, John's beheading.