Proserpina

February 12, 2013 § 1 Comment

Summer and Winter

Proserpina's, Oil on Panel, 32" x 44" by Sarah F Burns

Proserpina’s,, Oil on Panel, 32″ x 44″ by Sarah F Burns

The figurative piece is at Illahe Gallery, Ashland, Oregon until the end of February 2013.

These pieces were created in my studio using a live model.  The painting is a modern take on the myth of Persephone. I was particularly inspired a song by Martha Wainwright, “Proserpina”, which was written by Wainwright’s mother, Kate McGarrigle.  It chronicles Proserpina/Persephone’s mother’s grief and calls her daughter to “come home to Mama”.  I imagined Proserpina/Persephone in the underworld, and in my version she is complicit in going with the trouble maker Pluto, complicit in eating the pomegranate seeds that means she will have to live in the underworld for three-four months a year.  Coming of age, she realizes her decision is flawed, but she’d likely do it again, as would many young women who jump in with the charming  fellows who come along and fail to think of the fury and heartbreak it will cause their mother, not to mention Proserpina’s own regrets until the sober light of day.  Who among us, male or female can’t say they make certain mistakes again and again and wonder when they will finally learn to make choices that have better consequences?

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