These two pieces were built around the photographs used in the works, the myth of Persephone and Demeter and the construction of the pieces refer to devotional objects such as Tibetan thangkas and Japanese honzon scrolls. The Persephone piece starts with the small black and white vintage photo of a young girl wearing a white dress. Her image is incredibly stark against the dark background of the piece which when examined carefully, reveals a house. This house in it’s darkness brought to mind the underworld into which Persephone was dragged by Hades. This can be referred to in a literal way in context to the myth, or as a metaphor for a more psychological state. The photo is surrounded by four red squares or blocks and the numerals 12 3 and two arrows. The red of the blocks represent the 6 pomegranate seeds that Persephone ate in the underworld which doomed her to return there for six months of the year. The numerals represent again, the 6 seeds which were consumes and the hour of 3am, the darkest hour of the night and the arrows the ongoing cycle of ascent and descent. There are four blocks as this myth goes in some way to explain the creation of the seasons as Demeter allowed the world to become barren in her rage and grief at having lost her daughter. The text on the blue outer area of the piece refers to the idea of the soul and the internal sense of freedom and a more inner sky that can perhaps only be searched for and found in the darkest of times and spaces. I tried to imagine what the sky of the underworld looked like, was it literally the underside of the earth, thick with roots from the trees above or something else? I also thought about how being deeply rooted either in ones inner world or the heart of another (such as Persephone was rooted in the heart of her mother, Demeter) can provide a form of protection in times of darkness, the promise of ascent and transformation. The Demeter piece, is a black and white photo of a young woman sitting by a monument of some description. I was taken aback by the forlorn expression on her face and the way in which she holds her self. She is blocked in and confined by four dark squares representing the grief and agony of her daughter being taken away into the underworld. In the version of the story that I most connected with, there is a point where Demeter is so totally exhausted by her searching for Persephone, that she collapses in defeat and despair by a fountain. Just at the darkest point of the journey, Demeter, is given aid in the form of a much older primordial Goddess, called, Baubo. Baubo is described as having no head or face but instead has breasts for eyes and her vagina is her mouth. In the story, she sashays up to Demeter, lifts her skirts and proceeds to tell Demeter baudy stories. The sight of this strange Goddess and her jokes and stories make Demeter laugh out loud, a huge raucous laugh that originates from the very pit of her stomach. When I read this, I imagined images of stars being born and galaxies being populated as the laughter brought the regeneration and energy, which led to Demeters eventual victory in her quest to find her daughter. I love the story of Persephone and Demeter. I find it to be a myth that is rich in guidance for navigating the inevitable losses and descents into darkness that being alive in this world will bring. I must also say that I have not done the story justice here, so if you haven’t read it already, please go do so.