The title Satyr, refers to the role satyr plays in traditional Greek tragedy. The character of a satyr, hideous and comic, addresses the audience by describing a protagonist’s hubris. To develop the painting, I took an image of the Crying Aphrodite (sculpture, Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece) and layered it over an image of myself. The combination creates a hybridity, hideous as a satyr character. I chose the Crying Aphrodite’s because of the oxidization of bronze in the left eye; residue of bronze is streaming down the left cheek. This coincidence is interesting, and the dual portrait may engage topics around hubris, catharsis, and an unknown boundary between humans and the gods.
Strong coincidences exist between my artistic practice and my life. Between 2012 and 2016, I developed two painting series (The Human Animal and Catalyst), under the title of Allegory, which shared the common theme of conflict. In his catalogue essay Catalyst, Curator George Harris used the analogy of film structure to describe a synthesis between the objective of my imagery and the real-life events that followed. He states, “Something often happens in the first few minutes of films that prefigures a disaster, which by the end of each film is deployed to catastrophic effect. The act of making The Human Animal (first series produced) seemingly prefigured a real-life catastrophe (later depicted in Catalyst). Keeping form with many disaster movies, the cause of Glenn’s calamity remains out of sight (in The Human Animal); nevertheless, we see its effects (in Catalyst).” As with the Allegory project, I intended to carry out Passages as a one-project endeavour. Similarly, while completing this work, I experienced a real-life event that initiated the next body of work.
While fastening the last canvas of Passage (Forbidden Aesthetic, featuring Aphrodite, goddess of beauty and creativity) to its stretcher, an industrial staple went astray and shot into the pupil of my left eye. Foreshadowing my own Greek tragedy, the evening before the accident I had spent in a vineyard surrounded by mountains, populated by snakes and goats. In the first act of a Greek tragedy, a satyr (half human, half goat), the companion of Dionysus (god of wine), in a drunken stupor unveils a weakness – a mistake that leads to the protagonist’s downfall. Luckily, my story included a miraculous surgeon in Athens who restored my vision. However, for two weeks, I was blind from a trauma-induced cataract. In that time, I was inspired to explore the shadow aspects of Passage. What did I miss? I decided to examine myth, this time from a less altruistic human vantage.
In darkroom of your eye the moonly mind
somersaults to counterfeit eclipse;
bright angels black out over logic’s land
under shutter of their handicaps
commanding that corkscrew comet jet forth ink
to pitch the white world down in swiveling flood,
you overcast all order’s noonday rank
and turn god’s radiant photograph to shade. 
Throughout her career American poet, Sylvia Plath, explored mythology and later the occult, as exemplified by this poem. Here, in her poem Sonnet to Satan she describes the event of a solar eclipse as an unseen force. Borrowing from this idea, Eclipse is both a metaphor and title for my forthcoming project. How do mythic stories reveal the dark aspects of unseen forces and the human psyche?
While the focus of Passages was to explore myth and its relationship to boundaries, diaspora, rites of passage, and sustainability, Eclipse will go deeper and investigate the complex boundary between humanity and mythic gods. Questions I might ask include, what are the underlying truths about humanity that empowers us to create without considering consequences? How do these creations lead to error? How do old myths inform us about humanity’s fear of change? For example, if the myth gods encompass the shadow aspects of ourselves, what would they really have to say about globalization and sustainability? This project will focus on lessons around hubris and hypocrisy.
Neil Gaiman’s fiction novel American Gods is set in an America where multiculturalism has led to an infinite number of gods, whose power increases with their popularity, which means they continue to exist. The book narrates a protagonist’s journey with gods in North America (indigenous ones and those brought by immigrants). The old gods contend with the new – technology gods (Tech, New Media and Mr. World (internet)) for attention from humankind. Using this fictitious story, Gaiman asks if new belief systems lessen the power of the existing ones.
Historian Yuval Noah Harari writes in Sapiens (2014) that myth is a human creation, manifested for a variety of reasons, and that myth has enabled humans to evolve as the dominant species. He equates myths with beliefs and value systems. Presenting a compelling case that humans are responsible for creating myths, Yuval urges readers to be more thoughtful of the range of myths we have created, such as corporations, public policies, and systems such as mathematics and accounting. He also describes how myths enable humans to advance, but warns that a lack of ownership (of our creation of those myths) could lead to our demise: “Seventy thousand years ago, Homo sapiens was still an insignificant animal minding its own business in a corner of Africa. In the following millennia, it transformed itself into the master of the entire planet and the terror of the ecosystem. Today it stands on the verge of becoming a god, poised to acquire not only eternal youth, but also the divine abilities of creation and destruction.”  In response to this, I ask, is humanity ready to take responsibility for all its creations, including its myths (human-developed systems, honoured as unchangeable) and are we capable of reconsidering our creations, beliefs, structures, and systems, such as public policies and borders?
The Eclipse series is in progress. Following a preliminary drawing sketch stage, I may transform these drawings into large paintings that combine drawing and painting, or I may produce a drawing installation. Currently, the project encompasses three themes and includes one portrait and two works that will consist of four or more connecting panels. The following descriptions provide further detail about my ideas.
Ideas in Progress
The Messenger (mural, multiple panels with spaces between subject matter)
Based on the mythological tale of Daedalus and Icarus, Herbert James Draper’s romantic painting Lament for Icarus depicts a wax-winged Icarus after his tragic fall. Draper’s painting depicts the moment Icarus has fallen from the sky. It is a cautionary tale about youth, overconfidence, emotion, and carelessness. From the perspective of the father – Daedalus – the myth story is about the danger of going too far with creation. Daedalus’s inventions – the maze for the Minotaur and his son’s wings made of wax – led to his own entrapment and loss. My sketch for The Messenger juxtaposes a sequence of birds, thread (as communication), spindles (as eyes), hands weaving (as the fates), architecture, Aphrodite and Rodin sculptures (gods debating), taxidermy wings from doves and magpies.
Minotaur: The Warning
Preternatural and arcane, the story of the Minotaur has held enduring appeal for artists, perhaps because its core themes – forbidden desire, the craving for satisfaction, and the basic fact of sexual peculiarity – are all too real, discernible everywhere amid the trivia and neurosis of modern life.  As a metaphor for unruly, bullish, primal behaviour, the Minotaur represents the animal within us. In the Greek myth, Poseidon curses Pasiphae (daughter of Helios, the sun) to mate with an ox. She gives birth to a Minotaur, who is a hybrid of human and bull. In a maze designed by Daedalus, the Minotaur dies by being slayed by Theseus. Artists such as Picasso anthropomorphized the Minotaur as himself, or used it as a metaphor for the aggression of the Spanish civil war in the print series Vollard Suite.  My preliminary sketch for Minotaur: The Warning is an expansion of the original Sphynx painting (from Passages) and includes a gate and graffiti: a motif for communication, negotiation, and rite of passage. As hybrids, the sphynx and Minotaur share similar biological disposition (half-human–half-animal), yet occupy opposing roles of power. Athena and her Pallas – a dark psyche companion that protects cities, will function as a visual metaphor for uncertainty.
 Harris, George. 2018. Curatorial essay for Catalyst, Two Rivers Gallery, Canada
 Plath, Syliva. Sonnet to Satan, Poem #30, Plath mss II, Box 15, Publications Scrapbook, Lilly Library Archives, Indiana University at Bloomington, USA (Pre 1954).
 Harari, Yuval Noah. 2014. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (p. 415). Signal (McClelland & Stewart, UK)/Penguin Random House, Canada
 Cahill, James. 2018. Flying Too Close to the Sun: Myths in Art from Classical to Contemporary, The Monster in Maze – Theseus and the Minotaur (p. 41). Phaidon Press Limited, London, UK.
 Picasso developed 100 etchings (printmaking) from 1930 to 1937 That were commissioned by the French art dealer, Ambroise Vollard.