Notes to a Nekyia

“…the hero returns from the night sea-journey in better shape for the tasks of life, whereas the nekyia takes the soul into a depth for its own sake so that there is no “return”.” – James Hillman, The Dream and the Underworld

A series of 18 photomontages from 2017.

Photomontages are from found digital images, as follows:

No. 1 “Women with a Sunken Goddess”
Women: from Anon., “The Upper Ten of Tonga”, glass negative, 1918 – 1920. Statue: from Anon., “Limestone statue of Hera or Demeter (?)”, ca. 330 – 200 B.C. Water: from A. Foncelle, “Waves”, albumen print, 1880 – 1890. Background: from Pascal Sébah, “Medinet-Abou à Thèbes. Debris de l’interieur”, albumen print from glass negative, 1860 – 1890.

No. 2 “Woman with a Young Dionysos”
Statue: from Anon., “Marble statuette of young Dionysos”, marble, 1st–2nd century A.D. Woman: from Anon., “Two women in front of a painted landscape backdrop”, albumen print from glass negative, visiting card possibly pirated from E. Béchard’s stock (Cairo, Egypt), 1870 – 1880. Vault: from American Colony (Jerusalem) Photo Dept. photographer, “Athlit. Various including excavations. Ruins from the beach. Buttress wall close to the sea”, glass, dry plate, 1934 – 1939.
[Woman digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.]

No. 3 “Inundation of Aphrodite”
Aphrodite: from Caldesi & Co. Bernieri, “Sculpture of two Fates of the Parthenon”, (considered to be a sculpture of Aphrodite from the Eastern pediment), photographic paper, 1857 – 1859. Sea: from Department of Defense, American Forces Information Service, Defense Visual Information Center, “A starboard view of the stern section of the aircraft carrier USS MIDWAY (CV-41) as the ship is underway in rough seas”, 1987. Background: from William J. Stillman, “Eastern Facade of the Parthenon”, carbon print, 1870.
[Background digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.]

No. 4 “Limbless Christ with Attendants”
Christ: from Anon., “Crucified Christ”, ivory, French, 1260 – 1280. Attendants: from Anon., “Egyptians”, albumen silver print, ca. 1881. Background: from Fratelli Alinari (studio), “Pisa, Camposanto Interior”, albumen silver print, ca. 1850.
[Attendants and Background digital images courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.]

No. 5 “Christ with Vulture in a Deluge”
Christ: from Ludovico Begarelli (attributed to), “Christ as the Man of Sorrows”, terracotta, c. 1530. Vulture: from Peeter Boel,”Gier en een arend met slang”, print, 1670 – 1674. Sea: from photograph by the artist, Bronte Beach, Sydney. Background: from Francis Frith, “Karnak”, albumen print, between 1850 and 1880.

No. 6 “Younger Jesus Challenged”
Jesus: from Anon, “Christ Child”, painted walnut, c.1510. Snake in Tree: from Caspar Luyken, “Giant Snake, coiled around a tree, attacked by a man with an axe”, etching, 1694. Background: from Thomas Moran, “The Much Resounding Sea”, oil on canvas, 1884.

No. 7 “Poseidon Herding Dolphins”
Poseidon: from Anon., “Bronze statuette of Zeus or Poseidon”, bronze, early 5th century B.C. Dolphins: from Anon, “Rock Crystal Statuette of a Dolphin”, Roman or Byzantine, 3rd–5th century. Sea: from photograph by the artist, Bronte Beach, Sydney, 2017.

No. 8 “Bacchants and a Harpy”
Sculptural group: from Anon., “View of Unidentified Sculpture Group (Drunken Dionysos & Satyrs?)”, glass negative, between 1898 and 1946. Copper bird: from Anon., “Bird”, copper alloy, South Netherlandish, 15th century. Harpy: from Pietro da Cortona, “Part of the vaulted decoration in the Palazzo Barberini’s salon with Hercules ravaging the Harpies, so Justice and Abundance can help the poor”, engraving, 1692 – 1762. Background: from Amanda Gruhn, “Sunset at McKell Park, 21 April 2017”, digital photograph, Sydney Harbour.

No. 9 “Cloaked & Uncloaked Storks at an Eclipse of the Sun”
Storks: from Frederick Bloemaert (printmaker), after Abraham Bloemaert, “Four storks stand at the edge of their nest”, engraving / etching, after 1635 – 1670. Cloak: from Anon., “Cape with small dots and rosettes”, silk, velvet (fabric weave), satin sash, ostrich feathers, c. 1900. Eclipse: from S.W. Burnham, Lick Observatory, “Total eclipse of the sun (frontispiece)”, photograph, c. 1873 – before 1893. Background: from Louis de Clercq, “Jérusalem. (Environs) St Jean du Désert”, Albumen silver print from paper negative, 1860 or later.

No. 10 “Two Men at a Rock Shelf”
Younger Man: from Hiram Powers, “Fisher Boy”, marble, 1857. Older man: from Anon., “Bronze statuette of an artisan with silver eyes”, bronze, silver, ca. mid-1st century B.C. Dolphin: from Gaston Lachaise, “Maquette for Dolphin Fountain”, wood, painted, gilt, ca. 1924. Seascape: from photograph by the artist, Bronte Beach, Sydney, 2017.

No. 11 “Victor & Vanquished on a Rock Shelf”
Armour: from Anon, “Field Armour of King Henry VIII of England” (reigned 1509–47), steel, blackened, etched, and gilt; textile and leather Italian (Milan or Brescia), ca. 1544. Vanquished Figure: from Anon., “Statuette of a Dead Youth”, bronze with inlaid copper, Greece, 480 – 460 B.C. Bird: from Reinier Vinkeles (printmaker), “Flying bird of prey”, etching / engraving, 1751 – 1816. Sea: from photograph by the artist, Bondi Beach, Sydney, 2017.

No. 12 “Neptune Descending with Mask of Athena”
Neptune: from Adam Lenckhart, “Neptune”, ivory, mid-17th century. Neptune’s Pulley: from Anon., “Model of a Jeer”, wood, brass and rope, 1820. Athena: from Anon, “Head of an image of Athena”, photographic paper, c. 1895 – 1915. Athena’s ropes: from Anon., “Reef Band with a Toggle”, rope and wood, 1860 – 1895. Background: from Félix Teynard, “Abo-Sembil, Grand Spéos, Statues Colossales vues de Face (Parte Inférieure)”, salted paper print from paper negative, 1851–52. Sea: from photograph by the artist, Bondi Beach, Sydney, 2017.

No. 13 “Dionysus, Silenus & a Hyena Leaving a Shipwreck”
Dionysus: from Anon., “Dancing Dwarf”, marble, Egypt, 332–150 B.C. Silenus: from “The Crouching Silenus, Stage of Theatre of Dionysus, Athens, Greece”, photographic print on stereo card, H.C. White Co., publishers, c1901. Hyena: from Anon., “A Hyena Standing in a Rocky Landscape”, etching, publisher and date unknown. Ship: from Anon., “Damaged Whaling Ship”, albumen silver print, American, c1870.

No. 14 “Ecce Puer with Hyenas”
Boy in Pool: from Medardo Rosso, “Ecce Puer”, bronze, Italy, 1906. Hyena (left side): from John Le Keux, “A Striped Hyena”, London publisher unknown, 1800-1846. Hyena (right side): from Anon., “A Hyena Standing in a Rocky Landscape”, etching, publisher and date unknown. Background: from George Barker, “Live Oaks and Palmetto, Everglades, Florida”, albumen silver print, Florida, United States, 1886.
[Background digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.]

No. 15 “Burghers of Calais with Fires”
Figures: from Auguste Rodin, “The Burghers of Calais”, bronze, modelled 1884–95, cast 1985 (Coubertin Foundry). Fires: from H. Goltzius, “The vexatious litigant dies: the monster Litigation receives his soul, while Evil Conscience and Poverty dig his grave from which hellfire billows”, engraving, 1590-1599?. Background: from Félix Bonfils, “Thèbes. Vallée des tombeaux. Bab-el-Molok (Égypte)”, albumen silver print, 1870s.
[Background digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.]

No. 16 “Woman with the Head of Dionysos”
Woman: “Evil Conscience” from H. Goltzius, “The vexatious litigant dies: the monster Litigation receives his soul, while Evil Conscience and Poverty dig his grave from which hellfire billows”, engraving, 1590-1599?. Dionysos: from Anon., “Head of the Young Bacchus”, bronze with silver, Roman Empire, first half of 1st century. Dionysos’ Pole: from Anon., “Lance from a coat of arms”, wood and steel, 1833 – 1835. Volcano: from Anon., “An eruption of Vesuvius at night, 1829, showing the inside of the crater with smoke, fire and lava, and spectators looking on”, coloured aquatint with gouache, date & publisher unknown. Background: from Félix Teynard, “Dakkeh, Village et Rives du Nil”, salted paper print from paper negative, 1851–52.
[Dionysos head image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.]

No. 17 “Whaler with a Dionysos Herm”
Heads: from Anon., “Portrait Head of a Man”, marble, mid-3rd century. Lying figure: from Auguste Rodin, “The Martyr”, bronze, modelled 1885, originally a standing figure on the lintel of The Gates of Hell. Dionysos: from Anon.,”Small Marble Support in the Form of Dionysos Herm (part of a piece of furniture)”, marble, 1st century. Ship: from Anon., “Whale ship hove down for repairs, New Bedford, Mass.”, part of a Stereograph photograph, date unknown (late 19c).
[Ship photograph courtesy of The New York Public Library; Dionysos photograph courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.]

No. 18 “Poverty at an Island”
Woman: “Poverty” from H. Goltzius, “The vexatious litigant dies: the monster Litigation receives his soul, while Evil Conscience and Poverty dig his grave from which hellfire billows”, engraving, 1590-1599?. Torso: from Anon., “Marble torso of a boy”, marble, Roman, 1st-2nd century A.D., copy of a Greek bronze statue of the late 5th century B.C., possibly of Narcissus or Hyacinthus. Island: from Carleton E. Watkins, “Sugar Loaf Islands, Farallons”, albumen silver print from glass negative, 1868–69. Sea: from photograph by the artist, Bronte Beach, Sydney, 2017. Background: from 2 images, both Anon., “An eruption of Vesuvius at night, 1829, showing the inside of the crater with smoke, fire and lava, and spectators looking on”, coloured aquatint with gouache, date unknown; and “Mount Vesuvius in eruption at night, with smoke, fire, and lava, over the Bay of Naples”, gouache, 1794.

I have wherever possible used images I know to be out of copyright. However in some cases the copyright status is unclear, and in a few cases I have used portions of images I know to be still in copyright. In all works I’ve supplied the available attribution information. If I am using an image inappropriately please contact me and I’ll remove it.