Thursday, March 17, 2005
Pomegranates and Persephone
I have been fascinated by Greek myths since childhood days, and even co-wrote a play in high school years, which was performed ,incorporating the Narcissus myth. The myth that particularly appeals to me is Demeter and her daughter Persephone, and she also appears in other cultural myths. I must admit I came to this myth without any preconceptions - simply a love of Greek myths , but as I get older I wonder what my attraction was and I find many points of reference which interest me. I would love to know what the Eleusinian Mysteries were and have in my mind some kind of Greek version of the Guerilla Girls. In my lounge at home I have a quilt depicting Demeter- as a quilt it is rather awful, but as something that describes my house it is pertinent. The pomegranate is the symbol for Persephone , Demeter's daughter and is also symbolic in other faiths , but for me it has it's more Greek meaning- of sewing the seed under the soil and growth- and what lush seeds they are! If I had been at home I would have searched high and low for a real pomegranate in order to work up my design but as I am not ,I resorted to the internet and found a rather good photograph of pomegranates on a healthy vegetable site which I reduced into grey scale and then traced some of the pertinent aspects of the lines- I then used the scan program on the computer to alter some of the lines and fill in areas so that I ended up with a positive/negative image and then traced it onto vliesofix ( Bondaweb/wunderunder) and voila there it is in fabric. I haven't the black thread to sew it with ( tomorrow I shall get some) otherwise I would be sewing it instead of being here! When working with the image I consciously was thinking of the many fabric designs over the centuries that have incorporated pomegrantes in their design and I wanted to create that lush feel. I love the portrait of Eleanora de Toledo by Agnolo Bronzino and the lush fabric of her gown and I have in mind that i want the pomegranates to have that richness. I can dream...... And I just found a diary of someone- Sahrye- who makes gowns inspired by renaissance gowns.
Persephone is believed to have lived in Sicily and if there ever was an island where you can feel the aura of the ancient Greeks it has to be this island- Agrigento is just the most magical site and Segesta is pretty good too.. A terrific book about Sicily is by Mary Tyler Simeti called Persephone's Island and I have just ordered her book on Sicilian cooking ( I will have to invent the dietary version!), and of course Lawrence Durrell wrote a book about sicily the name of which escapes me and I can't find it on Amazon.