Transforming Myth

Transforming Myth

Artist Statement, 2010

Our world is governed by responses that are majorly violent. Interactions between individuals, communities and nations are driven largely by the instinct to establish dominance and territory. Spawned by greed, frustration, desire, or even ideas of cultural, racial or religious superiority we are faced with violence in many forms. Behaviour meant to aid survival of the species now threatens not only humanity but also the planet that we inhabit.

Yet, the daily violence that surrounds us goes, for the main part, hidden and unheeded. Violent events, such as wars and terrorist attacks hold our attention momentarily. This casual, uncaring attitude, where we are both participant and observer, has become part of us; it is part of our ethos, our identity. Survival today, in a progressively more materialistic society, requires us to be self-centred. Our lives have become the centre of our universe and we are the heroes of our own stories.

We are in a liminal age, where human beings are seeking, haltingly, imperfectly, to transform and transcend themselves. All around us we see acts of heroism and despair that are symbolic of this process.

We are replacing the ancient mythic heroes, who ventured into the unknown, braved its dangers ready to sacrifice his or her self and returned with treasures that would save the human race with our own selves. Yet lacking the courage to make the supreme sacrifice of self that would redeem humanity, we have lost the connection with our spiritual self.

My work seeks to explore these ideas with the intention of transforming myth in the modern context, to re-examine and re-evaluate the relationships that we take so much for granted. It is, for me, a personal engagement in trying to deal with the dualities of the spiritual and the material; suffering and rapture; life and death; and to thereby understand the mechanics of the desires that are dominating our lives.

These are expressed or reinvented as it were, as decontextualised images; nudes, divorced from any social setting, displaced in both space and time to a neutral emotive space, itself in the throes of turbulent transformation that mirrors the emotive state of the liminal condition of the figures, or perhaps the social conditions from which they are born.