Apollo, the sun god, son of Leto and Zeus–god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, and poetry; leader of the muses. In my cosmology, all hell and heaven are within me, while I am alive in this body in this time and place on earth. In the Greek cosmology, all the prototypes are externalized and personified. My friend Dianna often says, though I think she might have picked it up from Walter, that looking at love is like looking at the sun. Certainly, with the coming solistice and hot heat of summer in Austin, the sun god is upon us.
This piece began with a 72″ diameter 1/4″ thick steel dish, that I wanted to be my own personal sacred space, a mini temple of adoration and concentration. So I started with many, many ink drawings composed within a circle and thought about what was right for this piece.
Then I projected and made a stencil for the shape that I chose. I chose the shape based on an iconographic symbol that was continuous–it also need to extract mass from the steel dish and use it as a positive shape and which will create two related pieces. The shape had to work compositionally within a circle at every view point and have no “up” or “down” orientation.
I was delighted with the drawing onto the steel, and more so once I started plasma-cutting the shape out. It took an astonishing amount of time to cut the shape out of the steel, and then to hammer and wedge the shapes apart. I really liked the burnt edges of the spray painted stencil. In the process I saw the shape separated and liberated from its original material, and become an independent positive shape with its own expression and identity.
Shining Apollo will be a dome that sits on 4 steel columns 6’6″ off the ground. Descending Apollo will hover, just off the ground, suspended from it center point – spinning, free, and ready.
I am so excited to share these works with you at my upcoming show in June at the Dougherty.
Hymn of Apollo, by Percy Bysshe Shelley
The sleepless Hours who watch me as I lie,
Curtained with star-inwoven tapestries,
From the broad moonlight of the sky,
Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes,–
Waken me when their Mother, the gray Dawn,
Tells them that dreams and that the moon is gone.
Then I arise, and climbing Heaven’s blue dome,
I walk over the mountains and the waves,
Leaving my robe upon the ocean foam;
My footsteps pave the clouds with fire; the caves
Are filled with my bright presence, and the air
Leaves the green Earth to my embraces bare.
The sunbeams are my shafts, with which I kill
Deceit, that loves the night and fears the day;
All men who do or even imagine ill
Fly me, and from the glory of my ray
Good minds and open actions take new might,
Until diminished by the reign of Night.
I feed the clouds, the rainbows, and the flowers,
With their ethereal colors; the Moon’s globe,
And the pure stars in their eternal bowers,
Are cinctured with my power as with a robe;
Whatever lamps on Earth or Heaven may shine,
Are portions of one power, which is mine.
I stand at noon upon the peak of Heaven;
Then with unwilling steps I wander down
Into the clouds of the Atlantic even;
For grief that I depart they weep and frown:
What look is more delightful than the smile
With which I soothe them from the western isle?
I am the eye with which the Universe
Beholds itself, and knows it is divine;
All harmony of instrument or verse,
All prophecy, all medicine, is mine,
All light of art or nature; – to my song
Victory and praise in its own right belong.