Today is the official kickoff day for the 100 Day Project and I am not off to a good start. I was too late to register on the New Zealand chapter of the project (I haven’t found an Oz one). However, I have managed to create a profile at Michigan based which doesn’t have a fixed date to start and finish.

My challenge is to create either a piece of writing or artwork related to shells for the next 100 days. My idea links to my other projects that focus on water, the ocean and journeying – Waters of the Past and Words for Water. Shells have many symbolic meanings – such as the link to travel, pilgrimage and protection.

From Tui Snider’s website:

Seashells are an ancient Christian symbol referring to religious pilgrimages and spiritual protection. During the Middle Ages, pilgrims often wore scallop shells. Seashells were also used to mark the path for those on a pilgrimage.

I am very drawn to the diversity of shell forms and also the many different meanings of shells. I really adore this chunky piece of Ammonite which was a gift from my husband. What I also love about Ammonite is that it is a fossil.

The UK Discovering Fossils site says this about

Ammonites are perhaps the most widely known fossil, possessing the typically ribbed spiral-form shell as pictured above. These creatures lived in the seas between 240 – 65 million years ago, when they became extinct along with the dinosaurs. The name ‘ammonite’ (usually lower-case) originates from the Greek Ram-horned god called Ammon. Ammonites belong to a group of predators known as cephalopods, which includes their living relatives the octopus, squid, cuttlefish and nautilus.

What also interests me about fossilised shells is the geological connection to Canberra deep past as an inland sea (See Canberra, Then and N0w). I hope over the next 100 days I will be able to create a diverse range of images and stories which may end up as a book or an exhibition.

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