Dido's myth and abandonment. An abstract and lyrical representation.
Updated: May 6
Mythology has always fascinated me. Be it Greek, Roman, Colombian etc. The pathos, the tragedy, deception, passion and the connection with nature, in particular, are the elements that intrigued me most. For this reason, I decided to represent some female figures or stories with female figures as the main characters. The series includes; Dido, Chaos, Nemesis, Cassandra, Thallo, Auxo, Carpo and other myths I'm working on. The first of the series is Dido. The figure of Dido is repeated several times throughout history; one of the most popular versions is that of Virgil in the Aeneid. (To find out more go to this site https://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2019/2019.07.13/) Virgil sees Dido as a suicide who, abandoned by Aeneas, throws herself into the fire, pierced by his sword. Despite her power, despite being queen, her life goes out in the fire. Dido is a complex character who must not be minimized to abandonment and suicide. But at 15, the myth of Dido touched me deeply and greatly influenced my life in the future. At 15, I already felt everything intensely, more than my companions. Seeing a woman like Dido crumble from abandonment made me feel understood. I didn't take anything from the story at that moment; I only learned that although I could feel immense pain inside me, that pain did not make me less of a woman; without dignity and value. And at 15, feeling understood, even if only by a myth, is a goal. Almost ten years later, I know perfectly well that the story goes beyond suicide-abandonment. But the pain due to abandonment has been a constant which I am now living with serenity. And that's why I decided to paint the myth of Dido in an abstract version. This painting was the first painting I managed to do after a tough period in my life. A period that changed my life forever, for the better.
I made a mood board, choosing colours based on 1) the emotion I wanted to explore 2) the colours I saw in the paintings concerning the myth. After that, I mixed the colours with a Liquitex pouring medium and fluid improver. To make the painting, I created horizontal and vertical lines by creating several layers of paint. Once I divided the painting into rows, I started to move the canvas gently, up and down alternating with sudden movements. These movements are always an alternation of conscious and subconscious states. To paint to let go of the pain, in this case, abandonment. I always listen to music while painting. This time I was listening to Pink Floyd.
With the spatula, I moved the lines to make the colours mix without losing their essence and to create shapes. The shapes you see on the canvas represent my different internal battles due to abandonment. At the same time, they represent the battles of Dido.
As with every painting, I applied varnish. At the end of the painting, as always, I wrote the lyrics. These are words that accompany the painting. Hundred shadows picking and biting insides of me. Swimming between all the colours Calm is an island Chaos is my armour I can be jealous of her I can beg myself to change But silently waiting for you to stay away. As I walk the city As I jump on the district line as I punch my wants and hug my needs I say goodbye to what I used to be But I still hold her in my deepest thoughts and there, just there secretly I hold you far away from me yet inside of me. These lyrics are a modern take on Dido and me. The background city is London. Here, I speak of the new me, just out of a painful moment that learns to rediscover life. In these lyrics, I accept the pain, accept my fears and decide to love myself, to complete myself, belong to myself. I might fear abandonment, but I won't let it consume me because I am complete on my own. I am no one's half. Despite this, I still keep that frightened girl, who feeds on chaos and pain, but is part of me and I must love and accept her. At the same time, these lyrics explore different relationships that have brought suffering. All this, inspired by Dido and the impact the myth had. These lyrics have many other meanings, but I leave it to you to discover the rest. This painting was one of the finalists at the Young Guns Awards at the Walton Fine Arts Gallery and was exhibited at the Laura I Gallery in London.
If interested in the design or purchasing, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org