For years I have immersed myself in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and most of the pieces in this exhibit take as a starting point Ovid’s story of Ceyx and Alcyone. Alcyone is haunted by dreams predicting the shipwreck and drowning of her beloved Ceyx.
When she sees a body floating far out to sea, she takes a flying leap into the water, and in mid-air begins to transform into a bird. Most of these pieces contain a more powerful mix of emotions than my previous work. The splashes of red, the sharpness of beaks, the darkness of layered depths, the oddness of some of the images, all speak to the pain and conflict that is an essential part of change. These aspects are balanced by the sensuous richness of color and texture.
At the moment at which she reaches Ceyx and swoops down to him he transforms into a bird also and the are partnered forever. This work is about the processes of change in all of us. We take a leap, grow wings, escape one life, emerge into a new self.
This passage from The Tempest, learnt by heart in grade school, haunts me and underlies the SeaChanges exhibition.
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made:
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.