‘Grassy barrows of the happier dead’

One out of thirty-two.

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‘This Grey Shadow, Once A Man’

‘This Grey Shadow, Once A Man’ is inspired by the story of Tithonus.

Tithonus, in love with the immortal goddess Aurora, asked Zeus for immortality, but forgot to ask for eternal youth. Over the years, Tithonus aged past the point of death, whilst Aurora stayed youthful. Some stories speak of Aurora eventually leaving Tithonus’ decrepit body in a room, locking the door behind her, whilst others say she turns him into a cicada, perhaps as an act of kindness.

The title of this piece is taken from Tennyson’s poem ‘Tithonus’, and consists of abstract, larger-than-life cicadas in their multiples, laying on the ground, each body made from an individual black dress encased in wax, and the wings made from concrete.

Here are some preliminary drawings, reducing the cicada form to three components.

cicada diagramsCicada drawings