As some of you are aware I’ve been beavering away on my personal exhibition: ‘FaeryTales – Creation & Destruction’. A series of five ‘Fairy’ tales or myths are being covered in this venture due to there intrinsically fascinating, interweaving nature & their portrayal of those ever studied themes of ‘love, sex & death’…. and they are:
- Pandora– the first woman of Greek mythology. Each God helped to create her by giving her unique ‘seductive’ gifts. She was moulded out of the earth by Hephaestus & was sent to punish mankind for Prometheus’ theft of the secret fire of the Gods. Pandora, out of curiosity, opened her jar…it has been mistranslated as a box…and released all the evils of mankind — although the particular evils, aside from plagues and diseases, are not specified in detail — leaving only Hope inside once she had closed it again. (I attempt to characterise this moment in my artwork on the right…in a mixed media painting, photo & ink explosion)
Numerous similarities exist between the Pandora of Greek mythology and Eve of the Judaic book of Genesis. Both stories include an account of:
- The divine creation of the first woman.
- Disobedience to a divine command by that first woman.
- A great calamity experienced by all mankind brought on by this woman’s disobedience to a divine command, and
- An attempt at explaining the origin of all resulting suffering and evil subsequently experienced by mankind.
………..Bit of a madam, wasn’t she!!!
- Adam & Eve – the widely debated first man & woman created by the Hebrew God YHWH. However I am bypassing a majority of the beliefs on these two magnificent creations as one could dedicate a lifetime to just interpreting all the differing accounts from Gnostic, Islamic, Christian, Jewish & Manichaean traditions…and believe me , they are all HUGELY different, yet equally fascinating & very inspiring. Instead I have opted to cover John Miltons Adam & Eve from the phenomenal 17th century poem Paradise Lost! The poem in itself conjures up an absolute veritable visual feast & its magnificent in many, many ways…
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n. – John Milton
- Snow White – a young European medieval woman capable of triple death & resurrection!!! More glorious magic….. Mircea Eliade described the death & rebirth process of Snow Whites life as initatory : “What is called ‘initiation’ coexists with the human condition, reaffirms the ultimate religious significance of life and the real possibility of a happy ending.'” The tale itself is another grand story outlining the polarization of women into the evil and active versus the innocent, passive and domestic.
The moment the queen entered the hall she recognized Snow White, and she was so terrified that she just stood there and couldn’t move. But two iron slippers had already been put into glowing coals. Someone took them out with a pair of tongs and set them down in front of her. She was forced to step into the red-hot shoes and dance till she fell to the floor dead. – Snow White, The Brothers Grimm.
- Lillith – Eve’s alter ego, & demonic first bride of Adam according to Jewish folklore. Lilith left Adam after she refused to become subservient to him and then would not return to the Garden of Eden after she became intimate with the archangel Samael(better known as Satan). The resulting Lilith legend is still commonly used as source material in modern Western culture, literature, occultism, fantasy, and horror…well what would you expect from someone whose name translates into female night demon?
The Dead Sea Scrolls contains one indisputable reference to Lilith in Songs of the Sage fragment 1:
And I, the Instructor, proclaim His glorious splendour so as to frighten and to te[rrify] all the spirits of the destroying angels, spirits of the bastards, demons, Lilith, howlers, and [desert dwellers…] and those which fall upon men without warning to lead them astray from a spirit of understanding and to make their heart and their […] desolate during the present dominion of wickedness and predetermined time of humiliations for the sons of lig[ht], by the guilt of the ages of [those] smitten by iniquity – not for eternal destruction, [bu]t for an era of humiliation for transgression.
Whoa! It makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up a bit!!! I wonder if shes a muse for Stephen King? 😉
and finally we have
- Streyino Martiya – the strange Romani spirit of the night, a ghostly shadow woman who brings prophetic dreams & nightmares of your own beautiful creations to come or your terrifying destruction – it all depends on who you are & what you believe 😉 A little simialar to Lillith in her own way, this one is a European mystery character & is slightly more of my own creation from Romany folk tales of ghostly goings on at night and allows me to expand my imagination & reminiscences of the tales told to me in my childhood…In the European Middle Ages most ghosts were souls assigned to Purgatory, condemned for a specific period to atone for their transgressions in life. Their penance was generally related to their sin. For example, the ghost of a man who had been abusive to his servants was condemned to tear off and swallow bits of his own tongue; the ghost of another man, who had neglected to leave his cloak to the poor, was condemned to wear the cloak, now “heavy as a church tower.” These ghosts appeared to the living to ask for prayers to end their suffering. Other dead souls returned to urge the living to confess their sins before their own deaths. I’m aiming for a Dante Alghieri-esque ambience with this creature & I look forward to continuing with this creative journey.
Well, I think that should do it for now….This is my lifetimes ambition pressed into a couple of paragraphs to the best of my ability…. I will expand on the themes as time goes by & I hope you enjoy following my artistic adventures, I look forward to sharing more works & ideas.
Goodnight ………. sweet dreams folks 😉