Artwork > Auraboros


In this exhibition the idea of the ouroboros and the aura are combined and explored.

A Brief History:

Ouroboros, the snake eating itself, is an iconic and ancient symbol for eternity, infinity, and rebirth. It is truly a multi-cultural phenomenon that snakes its way through the ancient worlds of Egypt, India, Mesoamerica, Norway, and Greece.

Plato describes a self-consuming animal as the first living thing on earth and an immortal, mythologically constructed beast.

Its used to describe the kundalini energy that lies at the base of the spine in Hindu tradition. "The divine power, Kundalini, shines like the stem of a young lotus; like a snake, coiled round upon herself she holds her tail in her mouth and lies resting half asleep as the base of the body", according to the 2nd century Yoga Kundalini Upanishad.

Gnawing on its own tail the “feathered-serpent” Aztec god Quetzalcoatl is carved into the stonewalls of Aztec ruins.

In Norse mythology, the serpent Jörmungandr, is one of Loki’s three children thrown into the ocean by Odin. He grew to be so big that he encircled the earth and clinched his own tail. He is also known as the Midgard Serpent or World Serpent. When he lets go of his tail, the world will end!

Carl Jung has described it as an archetypal part of the human experience and Psyche.

There is something inertly wrong about the idea of a snake eating its own tail. Its both seductive and an abberation. Its hypnotic and makes no sense, yet is easily understood. It has been used as a central symbol in alchemy, the Theosophical Society, and occult secret clubs. Ouroboros are kinky, too.


These porcelain baby snake pins are the initial impetus of Auraboros. I was talking with some sculpture students at Pitt Community College who were working in clay and I unconsciously rolled up a snake. I had been searching for something small to make for a “pin swap” I was going to be participating in at the Yuma Art Symposium 2012. These baby snakes made the perfect theme. After producing about 40 small versions of ouroboros in porcelian, I realized that I happened upon something, although as commonplace as the human skull in tattoo culture, that could relate to everybody.

The paintings and the sculptures show variations of this self-consuming idea. In one ceramic sculpture a boy rides a wild wolf, which is biting an ouroboros snake.

Another is more loosely associated with the idea, a ceramic bust with a toy dinosaur conjures up the inner child's fascination with dinosaurs and dragons.

The plaster figure is posed in a yoga asana that I came up with simply because the repetition of the triangle shape three times is appealing to me. In context of this exhibit, I have placed an ouroboros slithering through the figure to be a part of the figure's aura.

The Auraboros is a play on on the word ouro, the Greek word for tail and boros means devouring. Auroboros would translate to “aura devouring”. I think of these paintings as aura possibilities, as well as the animals in the sculptures, the subject of my thesis research at East Carolina University 2008-2011. These auras could be extensions of our physical body, mental thoughts, and/or simply our imagination.

Art Avenue AKA Bad Avenue:

A small group of artists are engaged with transforming this former bakery into an art gallery and art studio. There's something cyclical in nature to this activity. A building and its former inhabitants made a product that fed the community. Don't get me started on the symbolism of bread! Yet the community could not support such a basic need. It has been in under-use ever since.

The attempt to turn this space into a place of the creation of art and of the sharing of it, is an ouroboros of real estate. To say nothing of the joke of financially eating yourself. Bread feeds the body and art feeds the mind.

-Andrew Denton