The Barque, 2011

In every religion since before the invention of farming there has been a shadow figure believed to lead the deceased to the land of the dead. In this painting “The Barque” like that of Dante’s Charon, is seen at the top of the painting. Four sections divide the barque(boat) into four different places and positions in time. The paint and decorations on the side indicate the culture represented. #1 on the left is Greek with Neptune’s trident,#2 is Celtic  pre-Roman Britain,#3 is Syrian, #4 is Nordic.

Beginning with the left hand panel there are symbolic indicators. The oars from the boat carry images of Ceres the three headed dog of Hades, and the other, the head of Medusa cut off by the hero Perseus. Below is a lagoon before an oracular cave based on that at Delphi, with its young female attendant and eternal flame. In the dark sky above can be found Zeus and other Greek godesses of the psychic pantheon. The second panel represents a settlement in pre-Roman Britain at the Glastonbury Tor when the area was swamp land and the Tor was an Island, thought to be the island that King Arthur was ferried to upon his death. The third panel represents the drama of Saul who became Paul on the road to Damascus in the 2nd century CE. The fourth panel is a chromlech or burial site of a chieftan, now exposed where once it was buried and represented the vulva of mother earth into which the dead chieftan would have returned in death.