Listen to the Sea, woodblock print by Rick Beerhorst available here
We have a few different conch shells that drift around between the house and the Carriage House Studio. I no longer remember where they came from. It seems that they just arrived at some point and stayed. I love them for how solid they feel when you pick them up. I like the reference to the sea, mermaids, the natural world and what could be thought of as sort of portable home. The conch shell internal structure is of course the spiral and this is also carries important meaning as described below;
In terms of spirituality, the spiral symbol can represent the path leading from outer consciousness (materialism, external awareness, ego, outward perception) to the inner soul (enlightenment, unseen essence, nirvana, cosmic awareness). Movements between the inner (intuitive, intangible) world and the outer (matter, manifested) world are mapped by the spiraling of archetypal rings; marking the evolution of humankind on both an individual and collective scale.
Moreover, in terms of rebirth or growth, the spiral symbol can represent the consciousness of nature beginning from the core or center and thus expanding outwardly. This is the way of all things, as recognized by most mystics.
I have used the conch shell in several paintings and prints. This idea of passing from the outer world into the inner world is very compelling. I think that both making art and living with art is a way for us as people to become more adapt at making the journey from the surface down into the depths of meaning and our own consciousness.