Ouroboros (1985), 320 X 385 X 190 mm, Collection of Riana Du Preez, Photograph Jac De Villiers.
This sculpture represents Psyche, the soul, in a deep sleep on a bed in the form of a lustful tail-biting creature symbolising the alpha and omega, Ouroboros, or the beginning and the end of a souls pilgrimage from earth to heaven. The swan, as a symbol of purity and the righteousness of God, is an extension of Psyche's right arm which lies on her breast as a gesture of her submission to the will of God and the gift of eternal life.
Milton refers to the story of Cupid and Psyche in the conclusion of his Comus:
'Celestial Cupid, her famed son, advanced, Holds his dear Psyche, sweet entranced , After her wandering labors long, Till free consent the Gods among Make her his eternal bride...'
Thomas Bulfinch writes that the story of Cupid is commonly considered allegorical. He notes that the Greek name for a butterfly is Psyche, and that the same word means 'soul'. Therefore he concludes that Psyche is the human Soul cleansed by trials and tribulations.
Press-moulded and hand built in white stoneware clay and bisquit fired to 900 degrees Celsius. Painted with manganese oxide and a blue under-glaze colour. Brushed with a wirebrush to reveal the clay body. The figure was glazed in a transparent glaze (painted), and fired to 1060 degrees Celsius. Painted with yellow lustre and fired to 720 degrees Celsius.
Below is the drawing for the ceramic series based on myths pertaining to immortality.