The spectacular pomegranate – was there ever a plant more venerated throughout history, by diverse cultures for different reasons and across huge swathes of the earth ? Beautiful in all its manifestations – from the elegant form of the tree with its writhing bark to the entrancing, vivid red fragility and boldness of the flower, to its final gift to us – the seeds ! The seed protector and transporter is itself alluring in its rounded and tough-skinned form, decorated with such subtly varied oranges, vermilions, creams, ochres and pinks and stuffed to bursting with juicy seeds packed into glassy containers. Nutrients of every sort are available in each seed to help with many ailments and threats to our health and happiness – the sheer abundance of these gifts explain why it has been accorded sacred status by so many.
From Iran to India, China, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, northern Africa, the Mediterranean, the Arabian peninsula, the Americas and, no doubt nowadays, any other part of the earth with the right climate – the pomegranate has captured hearts and minds. Myths, legends, religious beliefs, explanations for natural cycles of earth and people have been created to encompass associations of the pomegranate with fertility, death, security, happiness, prosperity, mysticism, abundance, resurrection, guides, fortune, and of course, art. None of which is why I painted this pomegranate. I just loved it. © Frances Livingstone 2018