Eurydice, bride of Orpheus, the great musician of Greek mythology, dies of a snakebite on her wedding day. Unable to overcome his grief, Orpheus travels to the Underworld to persuade Hades and Persephone , the rulers of the dead, to offer Eurydice a second chance . They are so moved by his music that they grant him his wish, on one condition — that he not look at her until they have both passed into the world of the living. Orpheus guides Eurydice upwards, but at the last moment he turns around, and she vanishes — lost to him forever.
In a year when the global corona virus pandemic claimed so many lives, it was impossible, as many of us sheltered at home, not to think more than ever about death, as a way of sharing the pain of those who lost family members and friends.
I had been working on an another project when the story of Eurydice came to mind, and with it, a new approach to the illustrations. I don’t like to abandon projects, but the new idea became insistent, and I decided it was time for a change.
I had been drawing and painting in the traditional way for many years, but now I would incorporate both drawing and collage as well as digital manipulation. Suddenly, it seemed perfectly natural to experiment, to play, to rely on trial and error. As the images evolved, the narrative — spoken in the first person by Eurydice —practically wrote itself. Brief, but poignant.
The collages were temporary works of art , photographed as they were assembled, then adjusted in Affinity photo. They exist only in the book. All that was required of the separate pieces —- cutouts, construction paper, fabrics, real objects, and digital effects — was that they work together just enough to sustain an illusion and tell a story.