When I was nineteen I had the opportunity to take a break from my studies and travel to the Greek Islands. I arrived by boat on a misty full moon night in March. Off the coast of Santorini they were digging for the “Lost Atlantis”. My studies of mythology, and how it is mixed with history, came alive– and I felt myself to be in a story (that was then and the feeling hasn’t left).
On Crete I walked the labyrinth believed to be part of the Palace of Knossos and the place where King Minos kept his minotaur. You may remember the story of how no one was allowed to marry the king’s beautiful daughter, Ariadne, until he had found his way through the labyrinth, slayed the minotaur (born from the queen, who fell in love with a bull)– and then found his way out again. Here we have the universal themes of the impossible task, of help coming from unexpected places, and of finding our way against inconceivable odds.
I was struck by how Arthur Evans, an archaeologist, discovered and excavated the Palace of King Minos– fueled with an ancient story from Greek mythology. Here he also discovered stacks of clay tablets written in a script no one had ever seen– from a Minoan culture that had vanished over 3,000 years ago. The tablets were discovered in the “Room of the Chariot Tables”.
From Evans’ research on Crete in the early 1900’s, this script has become known as “Linear B”.
Mythology and script– either of which alone make me drunk with possibility! What a great unexpected alliance to return to this morning. On some of the clay tablets there is a list of vessels– how many, and the number of handles it has. The symbol for the vessel, the Linear B script and ancient stories are the inspiration for my paintings today.
Finding something I am curious about, something I don’t know the answer to, and then and looking into it in detail– is a good exercise for me. I find focus by making notes, observations and associations. I am often delighted by synchronicities.
This painting is the beginning of a new series that will be at the opening of for the new location of New Editions Gallery, 550 W Short St, Lexington, KY– Fri Aug 29, 5-8 pm.