snake and ladder

Until I was 9 years old, virtually all of my school vacations were spent in an old aunt's property in the hamlet just bellow my grand-parents farm, in the Southern Alps. The South is prosperous ground for all sorts of snake, particularly viper snakes. In fact, my parents had a dead viper in a jar filled with formaldehyde. It stood on the top of a red painted dresser in the main large living room where my brother and I slept. When I kissed my mother good night, laying in bed, I could see the jar in the distance behind her. I think my parents were rather proud of their viper, in a curiosity cabinet kind of way. Up the hill, my grand-mother Alice devoted much of her summer time to put fruits and vegetables in jars for the winter months. My grand-father had many stories of vipers and I, myself nearly stepped on one once (vipers tend to slide away at the sound of human steps), and every walk in long grass or near water would be accompanied by the sound of: "watch out for vipers, stamp your feet, use a stick...". No one I know was never bitten, but stories are often more powerful than facts (hello Jesus) and in all good order, I have developed a phobia of snakes. But you know how much fears and attractions go hand in hand, I am fascinated by anything floating in a murky liquid  and contained in a glass jar; onions, eyeballs, tattoos and foetus. Everything looks good behind a layer of glass. and there is just no better way so far to just stare at death. that would make a brilliant App for the  i pad 5.
Will I or won't I take my daughter to see the Damien Hirst retrospective at london Tate Modern, that is the not so trivial question of the week.

Alice's preserves-2009

                 copyright Katarzyna Mirczak,  Eric Franck Fine Art.

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