SOLD "Circe", Stained glass and textile collage, framed, 18.5" x 36.5", framed
Circe is a multi-layered stained glass and textile collage. The first layer is a textile collage on birch board, and the second layer is a stained glass panel. The layers align to form a single image.
Look closely into the potion's bubbles to see the jimson weed and berries floating upward, transforming into creatures of fancy.
Circe was a minor goddess in Greek mythology, the daughter of the Titans Helios, god of the sun, and Perse, an Oceanid.
Circe is best known for her role in Homer's Odyssey. During their 10-year adventure home from the war, Odysseus and his companions came upon a beautiful island. They were surprised to find Circe living there alone in a splendid mansion surrounded by all manner of domesticated beasts. She welcomed the hungry men to a grand feast while Odysseus continued to explore the island.
Unbeknownst to the men, Circe had laced one of the dishes with a magic potion. Once Odysseus' companions ate it, Circe was free to transform them all into beasts with a wave of her wand.
Because one of the men hadn’t eaten the poisoned dish, he alone escaped and ran to find Odysseus. Odysseus implored Hermes for help and was given an antidote to Circe’s magic.
Well-prepared, Odysseus came upon the mansion to find his men scrambling and wailing throughout Circe’s property. Playing dumb, Odysseus took his place at the table and began to eat from every dish. Unaffected, he smiled slyly at Circe. She knew she had met her match.
Homer’s story continues to unfold with Circe and Odysseus becoming friends (and lovers!) and the men are restored to their natural selves. But what were these magic potions? Was Circe really a sorceress or was she a chemist? Maybe they are one in the same!
The Odyssey says the men were transformed into animals and forgot about finding their homeland, but was it just a hallucination? Some scholars believe that Circe used jimson weed, a plant known to create amnesia and severe hallucinations. Given enough, the men would certainly have a hard time distinguishing fantasy from reality.
The story also describes Hermes’ antidote as a plant black at the root with a white flower. The Moly plant (pronounced Molly) fits that description and is known as “Snowdrop” in the Ural Mountains. Snowdrop contains acetylcholine, an effective treatment for paralysis from Polio and an anti-hallucinatory also known to help in treating Alzheimer’s. Holy Moly! The line between magic and science is pretty thin.
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