Surreal pink candelabra with family tree images
Tree of Life Candelabra, oil on canvas, © Louise Craven Hourrigan

Inspired by Frida Kahlo, my mother painted this surreal tree of life candelabra. The branches resemble intestines decorated with miniature figures from her past — grandparents, parents, lovers, children, pets. Years after she died, I began to see secrets hidden in the details. Who is the lady wearing only a fig leaf? Why are two of the candles snuffed out? Why is my sister painted as a mermaid, and why am I shown with two heads?

I tried to unravel the mysteries in Secret Formulas & Techniques of the Masters — coming soon from Brick Road Poetry Press.

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