This exhibition explores the story of lovestruck Apollo, pursuing Daphne who escapes by turning into a tree. Because of my lifelong fascination with trees, this story was my introduction to Ovid’s Metamorphoses 25 years ago.
I wanted to focus on the dynamic chaos of this transformation, arteries and veins becoming branches and twigs. I was also inspired to revisit my interpretation of this story by a new poetic translation by my son Abe Frank, that opened my eyes to Apollo’s obsession with Daphne’s hair (mentioned 6 times),
Even after she escapes him, Apollo claims her leaves (her transformed hair) as his trophy (laurel) wreath for all his future victories. I decided it was time to give Daphne the last word in this story, so I show her leaves creeping around and binding Apollo’s head a bit too tightly….
Rather than portraying her as trapped, in ‘Daphne’s Spring’ I show her transformation as a joyous leap into an unknown and novel form of existence.
This exhibition also included a series of works on vellum paper, a few of which appear here, which evoke transformation in a more abstract way, involving the coexistence of different overlapping forms, often anatomical.
These drawings are also inspired by, and take their titles from, the words of Dylan Thomas, another poet for whom all is flux and transformation.