This piece, Cycle of Life, is about stages of existence and the transitions between them, as embodied by the three figures: Angel (life), Grim Reaper (death), and Phoenix (rebirth). These stages can be seen as a part of reincarnation or even as a part of daily life.  Within each day, we constantly have new things entering our lives while other experiences move into the past.  The lathe-turned Thurmanite® (made of layered recycled maps) encompasses our daily travels while the space between it and the spun pewter candle holder is the distance between our mortal and spiritual planes. The top of the base plate is a series of lathe-turned ripples, reinforcing these ideas of actions and reactions. The underside of the base plate is laser etched with an ancient image of Ouroboros, indicating the endless aspect of this cycle.

This piece is part of a recent series of artworks where I have been incorporating meticulously hand-painted miniatures with my metalwork to help tell the story of the piece. My newest body of work, the “Morality Series,” is based on the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Heavenly Virtues. It features the most narrative approach I have taken in my work in many years.  Previously, my work has more subtly addressed themes of societal responsibility, especially related to environmental impact and capitalism as an essentially exploitive system.  The events of 2020 pushed me to be more direct and explicit with my content. 


© James Thurman


Graphics by Triple Threat Press