12” x 12”
Currently Hanging: Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, Dowell, MD (until July 26, 2015)
Rhea floats serenely in front of Saturn’s rings, which cast a sloping shadow on the surface of the planet below. Epimetheus, her tiny fellow moon, is seen just below her.
In Greek mythology, Rhea and Epimetheus were both Titans, two of the first race of twelve beings born by Gaea and Uranus. Rhea and her husband-brother Cronus, in turn, bore half the Olympic pantheon; her grand stature as the second-largest moon of Saturn is fitting.
In humorous contrast, Epimetheus was charged with giving gifts to the newly-created creatures of the world; he gave so freely to the beasts of land, sea, and sky that he was without a suitable gift for mankind. He turned to his brother Prometheus (“forethought”) for help, and it was to aid his brother that Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to humanity. Epimetheus also married Pandora, that enduring personification of reckless curiosity. Perhaps it is apt that Epimetheus (“afterthought”) would be the namesake of a misshapen piece of rock circling around and amongst stately giants, an impulsive and irregular part of the story.
Using primarily 17 different shades of gray thread, this piece challenged a number of my normal assumptions and compositional habits, became a study in the art of subtlety.
The source image for this work was taken by the Cassini spacecraft using visible light, while the spacecraft was approximately 1.2 million kilometers away.
Inspiring image originally released to the public May 2010 by NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.