24" X 30" oil on canvas
Available from the studio
For information ...
The story point ...
Depictions of winged Sirens, found in ancient tombs, predate Homer by some 5000 years. The myth of the winged Siren originated in Egypt and was later adopted into Greek Mythology. Part human part bird their role was somewhat different from the femme fatal depicted in Homer's Odyssey. The bearer of unique knowledge, Sirens were said to be the dark echo of the Greek goddesses of creativity ... the Muses. The Siren would use it's knowledge to guide departed souls to the entrance of the underworld where the good would separate from the bad. The bad would go on to Hades, the dark counterpart of the light of Mount Olympus, described as the "outer bounds of the ocean or beneath the depths and ends of the earth." The underworld is indeed imagined as the darkest depths of the ocean, in fact the scientific term "Hadal Zone," marks the deepest zone of the deepest trenches and is named after Hades, the patron god of the underworld. All contributing mankind's fear and destructive relationship with the world's oceans and the creatures who dwell there.
In Homer's defence, I think it's not a big step to imagine the femme fatal version of the Siren luring the lost sailor toward the underworld rather than acting as "Ghillie" and guiding them. It's all in the interpretation.
Writing has long been a integral part of Mark Heine's creative process. In the pursuit of his original artistic voice, Mark's writing has evolved to become the driving force behind his work and has led him to envision a world of his own creation. Sirens, the culmination of 38 years exploration, is inspired by the sea-nymphs, made famous in Homer's Odyssey. These underwater visions of mythological muse are rooted in the moments of an ongoing and developing fictional narrative. This complex narrative, involving human evolution and our natural environment, is the unifying conceptual thread that ties these surreal visions.