Like many of Santie Cronje's paintings 'Eva Garden and her Winged Friends' is layered in symbolic meaning. A play on the name Ava Gardner, Eva was created as part of Santie's 2015 collection 'Winged Tapestries'.
'Winged Tapestries' primarily focused on the balance of nature and relationships and used nocturnal animals to represent feelings and emotional states. Two of the main characters throughout the 'Winged Tapestries' series are both represented in 'Eva Garden and her Winged Friends': moths and hares.
The main focal point of the piece, the hare 'Eva', embodies intuition, transformation, adaptability and secret knowledge. These symbols are reflected in the moon: by itself, the moon is thought to be the feminine counterpoint to the masculine Earth representing both intuition, transformation and the cycle of life from the new moon, or infancy, through to the waning moon representative of the end of the life cycle.
Within the moon a second hare is shown in a foetal position which further develops the theme of feminine energy, intuition and transformation.
The third important element to the piece is the five moths fluttering around both 'Eva' and the moon. Seemingly insignificant, moths represent the way we often feel about ourselves: unimportant and insignificant. It is not until you look closely at the moths you see their value: each is a unique combination of delicate textures and intricate patterns. Like us, each moth is a unique creature with its own identity and value.
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