From ancient times spiders have been powerful symbols and the subject of myths. A spider is said to have saved Mohammed; while Arachne was turned into a spider by the Greek goddess Athena. Today we have Spiderman, the world-wide web and many characters in manga and video games. There is a wide array of meanings assigned to spiders. They are a symbol of feminine power, creation and perseverance. They are associated with creativity because they create their own world as they spin their webs.
I chose the spider for my project on decay because of this rich mythology. When we think of an old deserted, decaying house we inevitably imagine it filled with spider webs. Many people find spiders a bit creepy and really hate the feeling of walking into an unseen web. Because spiders and their webs are a symbol of creation, the action of the web being destroyed is a metaphor for all of creation being wiped away. In the end the spider dies and shrivels away to a bit of unseen dust, just as we will ultimately do after we die.
The female portrait reinforces the feminine side of the artwork, while providing a bit of whimsy. Yet, as the spider falls to its death the face briefly reveals a skull, a reference to historical memento mori.