Friday, 30 October 2009

The Gardens of Persephone

Two years ago I mounted an exhibition called Persephone's Garden in which I explored the ancient Greek myth of Persephone

Is this collage I show Persephone and her mother, Demeter. Demeter was the goddess of fertility

In the myth, Persephone is abducted by Pluto and imprisoned in the Underworld (Hades) - a barren, rocky place (or so I imagine it to be!)
After much angry debate with Zeus, Demeter managed to ensure the release of her daughter - but only for half the year.

This accounts for our seasons.

In the above collage, I have depicted Persephone in Pluto's palace in the Underworld. She was, afterall, a princess!

But Hades was a bleak place, devoid of colour and rich flowers or vibrant vegetation. Persephone was very unhappy there.

Demeter is a complex goddess, featuring in a number of related myths. Here, in the above pencil drawing, I have depicted her as a strange creature of the forest - half woman, half beast.

Although not directly related to the Persephone myth, that of the god Dionysus and his crazed followers, the Bachante, is equally powerful.
In the above collage (photo/gouache) I have tried to catch something of the frenzy and power of that myth.

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