Linda Ekstrom’s ‘Opera Apum’ (1996)
I was struck by this sculpture which is used as an illustration for the cover of Biblical Religion and the Novel 1700-2000 Mark Knight and Thomas Woodman (Ashgate Publishing, 2006). In the acknowledgements (ix) we are told that the Ekstrom created the image by placing a Bible inside a beehive and allowing the workings of the bees to adorn it with honeycomb and honey. Considering that the book as a whole highlights the multiplicity of hermeneutical approaches to the Bible in the novelistic genre, the symbolism of the cover is very much appropriate.
Ekstrom’s website features a range of other fascinating images which interrogate the links between art, religion and language. I was especially interested by her artistic altering of the text of St Teresa’s Interior Castle. Here, erasures and alterations highlight the materiality of language and interiority of the book itself.