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Hylas, Lost to Love

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Apollonios Rhodios wrote his version of the Argonautika, the story of Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece, in the 3rd century BC but this Hero's story is probably the oldest extant Greek myth.

When I began my investigation of “rust” as a medium for creative process a year and a half ago I decided to make the Argonautika the subject for my personal quest and chose Peter Green’s translation of the Argonautika as source for my imagery.  Below, Green describes the fate of Hercules companion, Hylas in a significant chapter of the Argonautika.

'Hylas, then, came to the spring that was known as The Fountains by local inhabitants. Just now, as it chanced, the dances of the nymphs were being held there; for it was their custom, that of all the nymphs who dwelt around that lovely mountain, ever to honor Artemis with nocturnal song. Now all whose haunts were hilltops or mountain torrents, the guardian wood nymphs, these were ranged apart; but one water nymph had just swum up to th…

Hero Jason

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My Rust Print “Jason” is intended  to represent a hero’s  journey.  Specifically it is meant to encapsulate the story of the Argonautika, the Quest for the Golden Fleece and introduce a series of prints made from rust whose subject is Journey.

Not long after Jason’s birth the throne of his father Aeson, benevolent king of Iolcus, (Thessaly Greece today), was usurped by Pelias his tyrannical half brother.  Pelias threatened to kill any who might challenge his claim to the kingdom, so Jason was hidden and the story of his untimely death told to deceive Pelias.

Jason, (12 x 12 x 1.5 in.), is made by rusting a COR-TEN steel plate to muslin fabric, mounting that fabric to dimensional panel and then finishing it with acrylic and wax mediums.  Jasonand four more Rust Prints from the Journey series will be exhibited in my studio, studio number 6, during the Spring 2012 Vashon Studio Tour.

Medea

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“Behind every great man there is a great woman,” or so the saying goes.  In the myth of The Argonautika, Medea is the heroine behind the hero and is absolutely devoted to Jason, though she also desires power in her own right.   She is the most complex character in The Argonautika and not everything works out well for those she perceives as a threat or for those who have wronged Jason.

Because of Euripide’s characterization of her in his play “Medea,” she will forever be maligned and remembered for “doin’ it for herself.”   However, without Media, there is absolutely no “winning” of the Golden Fleece for Jason.   Only Media’s magical knowledge and sacrifice of political allegiance, position and family make Jason’s Quest for the Golden Fleece possible.



The Monotype,  Medea,  will be exhibited in my studio, 23520 147th Ave SW, Vashon Island WA., Studio  #11, during the 2011 Vashon Island Holiday Studio Tour.

Pyrrhic Dance

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While reading “The Argonauticka,” by Apollonios Rhodios, and following hero Jason and the crew of the Argo through the islands and ports of call visited by his ship Argo, I came upon several references to the gods worshiped at Samothrace and Lemnos in the Korybantes, Kabeiroi or Cabeiri Rites that were celebrated in ritual dance. 

Dance, according to the Greek ideal, was one of the civilizing activities, like wine-making or music.

These dances perhaps originated as Cretan, and as Dionysus/Zeus oriented purification, or coming of age, initiation rituals.  Eventually “Pyrrhicaial” male dance, became a formal competition in the Hellenic world.  Armed with swords and shields, group participants were accompanied by drum and rhythmic stamping of feet and performed in celebration as worship, for acclaim and monetary reward.

Above, rust prints mounted to wood panel, Pyrrhic Dance, (8 X 10 x 1.5 in.) and below, Persian Dance, (8 x 10 x 1.5 in.), will exhibit at the Heron’s Nest at 17600 Vash…