This project is focused on exploring universal themes in Graeco-Roman mythology through symbolism. I was especially interested in themes of death, tragedy, love and desire, as they are significant to the lives of everyone, ancient or modern.
My most important research source was Ovid’s Metamorphosis, which encapsulates the myths I researched, allowing me to understand their symbolism. through this, I became interested in the underworld myths of Persephone and of Tantalus, which influenced my idea of fruit as a symbol of both loss and desire. I also looked into the work of John William Waterhouse, for his portrayal of the myths, as well as the image of a banana from Lucy May Schofield’s Souvenirs of Vulnerability, for how a simple image could portray strong emotion.
During this project, I have run into problems, the main one being a lack of space and physical resources, as I planned to experiment with both sculpture, and etching during this time. This was not something that I could achieve, so I instead focused my energy on painting and illustration, which could much more easily be done from home. I have introduced oil paints to my work, as their softer effect and long history inspired me and I think that my larger scale oil paintings have been successful, as I feel that I created a sense of desire and temptation, while maintaining beauty.
Throughout the course I have developed many new skills, and improved many more, I learned etching which gave me an interest in illustration that I would like to explore in the future, and has developed my painting skills greatly. I gained a new understanding of the artistic practice, and how to use research and reflection to better understand my own work and how to inject meaning into it.