Saturday, March 6, 2010

Moth, revisited

Moth as Christ, Christ as Moth

Though I shall work a little more on these pieces, I shall probably not paint them instead leaving them in a less defined state.

"Moth" is a recurring theme for me: I attempted to tackle the theme in monotype two years ago but was not satisfied with the results, then more recently visited it with paper cutouts. The results with the cutouts were nice, but they did not convey the utter horror that these creatures bring me, they were much too cartoonish. This time I intend to combine the moths with other items to make a grand, gothic tableau.

I have picked up from somewhere the idea that moths are Christ symbols: but there seems little evidence to support this as a traditional iconography. I found this, however:

I quote:

"Are we, like the huge Cecropia moth, blundering on in the darkness, oblivious to the universe which is all around us? Are we ignorant to the realities that present themselves in our everyday lives, simply because we aren’t really paying attention to what is going on around us? "

There is also, of course, Thomas Harris's magnificent "The Silence of the Lambs" (one of the cases where the film is greater than the book) where the moth is seen as a symbol of transformation through life, and between sexual conditions. These notions have a pagan ring to me, bringing to mind the Green Man, so beautifully represented in Rosslyn Chapel, Penicuik, near Edinburgh.

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