Sunday, 20 May 2007

Change of Scene


This is where I would rather be; no, not in space, but on the Island of Crete. England in May is wonderful, but to be on holiday again on Crete would be soul restoring. Provided I didn't come across any of these:

Marine Style flask from Plaikastro c1500 bc -

There were times towards the end of the holiday when one of these double axes would have been useful to keep my companion in check.

Ceremonial Double Axes - Herakleion Museum -

Late Neolithic Pot

At the Herakleion Museum were things that made me think of reincarnation, as a possible explanation for why they resonated with me. The shape of pots like this reminded me of one I had made over many weeks during an art course some years ago. I had found it mesmerising to make; it had been about 30 cm high, built up by hand, and batted smoothly on the outside with a piece of flat flexible wood. All the while I spent smoothing it, I had been thinking of the pattern I would incise on it; simple lines and spirals. When I saw this pot pictured on an Open University website I felt tingling up my spine.

But my favourite image of all is this lady, who I first found when I was about 11 years old, in the school reference library, in a book on costume. I was entranced, that females could be this powerful.

Snake Goddess c1500 bc Knossos Palace

Herakleion Museum - wwwwikimedia

In the Herakleion Museum I stood by the glass case in front of this 18 cm high figure and wondered at the sacred red colour painted onto the naturally black striped shells that had been placed around her. Perhaps they had been found with her in the Knossos Palace.

I let the swirls of other museum visitors pass me by and stood for a long time drawing her from various angles. She is very finely detailed; on her head sat on her cap is a bird, possibly Athena as an owl. Her black hair hangs in a heavy plait down her back; the maker finely modelled the curves of her back to leave a space in the hollow of her back where the plait hung free, finally resting on her bottom.

I purchased a museum standard replica, cast from the original and painted in the original colours. I have found the same shells in Shell Bay on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset and they surround her where she stands quietly and privately in my home, a reminder of where I would rather be right now.

Ante Chamber to the Throne Room Knossos Palace -


Blogger BloggingMone said...

Actualy my mother is on Crete at the moment. She is on a "girls' trip" as my father puts it.
However, the idea of a certain "Sally with the Double Axes" keeping fellow bloggers in check is, errm... a bit scary.

Monday, 21 May 2007 at 04:31:00 BST  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Now there's a thought !

However, the pen is mightier than the sword !

Monday, 21 May 2007 at 11:04:00 BST  

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