Ashley Collins

Mixed media on panel
48 x 72 in
Petra has a number of meanings, and depths, as a reflection of our life. Petra, literally means "rock", yet it is more widely known as a mysterious 6th century village, cut from the stone in what is now Jordan, between the Dead Sea, and the Gulf of Aqaba. This work was done following Collins photographic journeys into the deserts of Jordan and Egypt, and in it she captures not only the coloration, but the mystery which this great ancient city carries. Like so much of life, Petra remained undiscovered, literally for more than five hundred years. It begins as just a small opening in the rocks, invisible, unless one is seeking. Such a metaphor for life, for as we explore, and are open to what invites us, we will truly find wealth beyond measure. The figurative head of the horse in this work is older, looking outward, an open book symbolizing knowledge, which is further repeated within the historical pagework depths of the work. Our lives are filled with opportunities to find our own Petra, our own magic, lost to others, but ours to find.