Eternal Narrative

Works by Elizabeth McAlpin


Method & Medium: Soft ground and Spit Bite Etching with Silk Thread Embroidery of  Love Letter (Punk Style) In Morse Code



The embroidered morse code are short “bytes” written in “punk” style such as: I love you. My bloody valentine.  Love me. My bloody me. Hiking the Sangre de Cristo mountains in New Mexico a few years ago, I encountered a wasp eating the head of a butterfly while perched on a black-eyed susan. Yes, yellow jackets and wasps are carnivores, so too are butterflies. I love nature. It was also around the time I had a terrible crush on someone who loved punk music. And yes, the crush crashed and burned. Now you know the subtext.

Six Pack Yoke Choke I (Series)

Method: Monotype

Six Pack Yoke Choke II

Six Pack Yoke Choke I

Given the long list of species modern humans have deemed as invasive, I wonder why modern humans were not on this list as well. Our irresponsible consumption creates waste that threatens wildlife on land and sea. We have become a super organism, an invasive species. These six pack rings that hold cans strangle ocean life as they get ensnared in them. One Florida brewery took action against these plastic death traps and rolled out a solution to make them safer.  But that is only one brewery. We need more sustainable solutions to address our waste.

Return to Life (2019)

Method: Silk Thread, Chine Colle, Monotype

Return to Life

Return to Life

I threaded the delicate bones of cicada over a drawing of a female to suggest the revival of her life after a tragic event.

“The Cicada is an ancient polyvalent symbol: resounding themes are resurrection, immortality, and spiritual realization.”

The female in the drawing looks back to reflect upon a tragic event depicted by a car crash. I continued the thread over the car crash frames to connect the two events. The three frames are taken from a stop frame animation of a match box car crash I staged in Washington Square Park many years ago.  Tragic events disrupt life similar to the way death disrupts life. We plunge into reflection, darkness, and even depression as we come to terms with the meaning of the event. It may take several years before we are repaired and resurface to continue with life anew. Just as the cicada lays dormant in the ground for seven years before returning to the surface so do we remain buried in our thoughts before climbing out of darkness to meet the light.

Along with the thread and the blood-vein like shape, there is a warm female shadow that also connects the two events. It is the soul that undergoes the spiritual transformation in the body. Here, at this moment, it could be her soul that is ready to help make the transition to return to life.

Within The Lines (2019)

Method: Silk Thread, Chine Colle, Japanese paper, Intaglio, Monotype

Within The Lines

Within The Lines

Beneath the red thread dashed lines are some of the words by E. E. Cummings, Crepuscule.

“Will I complete the mystery of my flesh” are exposed in the humble male shadow behind the ribcage.

He is humble to her as she contemplates his message.

The red thread represents the potential mix of energy between the two figures. Some has already crept its way in. The yellow thread are seed-like grains.

I cut out the interior part of the oval shapes and replaced them with Japanese paper by stitching the paper along the edges of the shapes from the back. There is fragility in the open/closed membrane of the shapes.