Many of the Greek myths you reference in your work have a very deep reverence for women, femininity and beauty. How do you feel those characters and stories speak to or are influenced current social movements and changes?
The ancient myths have a lot of readings, a lot of angles for understanding them, and have presented themselves in myriad interpretations to human thought over centuries. I’d like to tie something back to these myths — from the perspective of the left — as we move forward and progress. I’d prefer to emphasize the messages in the myths that are speaking to our contemporary values. There is — to me — much of value for progressive intellectual meditation in these myths and stories.
I read a lot of anthropology side-by-side with mythology. I’m reading Jane Ellen Harrison, “Prolegamena to the Study of Greek Religion”. She revolutionized the anthropology of ancient Greek society, ritual and religion. She comes from a feminist perspective. Her insights reveal the folk-rituals and beliefs beneath the idealized Greek Myths, and idealized religious rituals. There beneath our present traditions and institutions are matriarchal foundations.
I’m updating the representations of these traditional art subjects, with respect for the feminine aspect in them, to emphasize the feminine principle in our esteem and regard. I sense this to be part of the zeitgeist of this decade. So I’m expressing that in my work.