:: Europa Untouched - Mariner ::

Labyrinth    Epiphanies    Salute    Kykeon    Kite    Mariner    Union    Seek

:: 2010 :: 120cm x 60cm :: Acrylics, Inks & Markers on Canvas ::

This work arose from a careful analeptic analysis of the founding myth of Europe, that of the rape of Europa. I have long felt that this tale narrates the destruction of a Minoan goddess cult by incoming Greeks who worshipped Zeus, and that previous to the coming of the Greeks this goddess would have been untouched and pristine. There are clues in the myth as to the nature of this particular goddess: the notion that Europa came from Phoenicia was a garbled memory of the original Minoan thalassocracy and sea-trade - by the time the Greeks emerged out of the Aegean Dark Age in 800BC, the Phoenicians had replaced the Minoans as the principal sea-traders of the Eastern Mediterranean. Another clue to her true Minoan origin lies in her name: Europa (Ευρώπη) is not a Greek word but phonetically-speaking it fits perfectly with what linguists call 'pre-Greek', a large class of words found in Classical Greek which were borrowed from the aboriginal language of the Aegean and Crete (labyrinth is another such word) - it is likely that the Minoan language was a high-status dialect of this wider language.

Thus, I have shown Europa here in her original, untouched, sacred splendour as goddess of the open sea and presider with watchful eyes over the Minoan sea-trade, and as she rides the ship of plenty so commonly seen in Minoan jewelry motifs, she also becomes the Lady of Fertility. How marvellous it must have been for the Minoans to have viewed trade - something we moderns think of as the most profane of mundane activities - with a sacred eye.

Europa Untouched - Mariner


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