Blood is artist Jordan Eagles’ chosen medium, and through it he strives to express both the energy and the spiritual symbolism of blood, of the flame and its meanings. He started using animal blood when he found it more effective than red paint in a project. But preserving the blood presented challenges.
“Over a year, the pieces turned from red to brown,” he said. “How can I prevent organic material from changing colors? Preservation raised more philosophical questions. In many cultures, people believe that the body and soul are connected. If you preserve the body, are you also preserving the spirit?”
He gets the blood from a slaughterhouse, mixing it with resin in his studio. Both substances, he says, are highly temperamental.
“Blood, unlike most other mediums, has to be preserved right away. You can’t start a piece and decide, ‘I’ll get back to it in a couple of weeks.’ I will actually mix the two up; blood interacting with resin. The challenges are what makes it so exciting. My practice is almost an alchemy of sorts, trying to make magic happen.”
“Blood/Spirit,” an exhibit of Eagles’ work, is on display at St. Louis University’s Museum of Contemporary Religious Art.
Well, I like it.