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I am intrigued with mythology and collective stories of cultures, particularly the symbolic cast of characters and artifacts that represent the ideologies of a particular group of people. What began as the simple notion of focusing on the Greek influence and the interpretation of the mythology in a contemporary manner, led me to revisit the history of the Western world in order to put the myths in context. My portrayal of them is not that of a storyteller or illustrator. I envision them abstractly, through the fog of time, incorporating symbolism, pattern, color and the human figure and shape. The use of encaustic waxes are ideally suited to this body of work and the Greek myths from which they came; embodying the stream of consciousness effect, the dispersion and reassembling of molecular structure, the ebb and flow of life itself.
Aside from my interest in mythological symbols and the contemporary application of encaustic waxes, which originated in ancient Greece where it was a major creative art process for both easel and mural painting. (It is considered to be the earliest formal easel painting method, and it shares with the ancient process of fresco a certain fundamental purity or simplicity, but has a rather inconvenient and demanding mode of operation.) Why return to the Greek myths in an age of Re-Modernism, an electronic global culture, the prospect of the erosion of all cultural differences, the prospect of great conformity and simplification, and the current notion that “The West” is a state of mind? Perhaps because, in a time of cultural relativism and moral decay, they continue to inform us of what we already know: containing Plato’s Universal Ideas, Bastian’s Elementary Ideas, Jung’s Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, or Rupert Sheldrake’s Idea of Morphic Resonance. In any case we seem to know the myths and their meanings internally – intuitively as if they have been with us since the rise of humanity. A new paradigm seems to be emerging that changes our whole reality and the notion of interconnectedness – an understanding of the organic and unified character of the universe. The early Greeks knew this and their mythology demonstrates it. The holistic paradigm brings the inner and the outer – subjective and objective – worlds closer together; mind, soul and universe. So, by revisiting the myths we are able to revisit who we are and where we stand in relationship to each other, and the larger universe. ■
THE REALM OF DREAMS: three panel, encaustic wax, 48″x 72″
SHADOW DANCING: acrylic, 48″x 48″