Rose Wognum Frances

The Merry Maidens:

We Danced, and Disappeared

Paint on canvas, mica, drawings in thread on transparent fabric overlays, silk, copper. 24”H x 24”W x 2”D Archaeomythology Series #5 2020
In 1999, I taught art as part of a guided pilgrimage to the standing stones in England and Cornwall. On the evening we arrived in Cornwall, I went for a stroll in the changing light. A charming sign reading “Footpath” lured me off the road.  In a bit, there was a sign pointing to a path to The Merry Maidens.  I had no idea we were staying so close to the ancient stone circle.  I came to an utterly charming stile mounting a stone wall—straight out of a fairy story.  As I came down the other side of the stile, there was the circle of stones, glowing in the evening light.  I saw a tall stately woman in the circle, her arms upraised to the sky. For a moment, I felt as though I had traveled to the distant past, when the circles were used in long-ago rituals. As I drew forward, I saw the beaming face of Constance Tippet, a fellow artist and member of the tour, welcoming me to join her in the lovely evocative space within the circle. We stood in silence, arms upraised, as the light changed to the gloaming, and the mist descended. The next day, we all joined in a joyous spiral dance within the embrace of the ancient stones. 
In this artwork, I drew Constance’s beaming face, and mine, in thread over the upraised hands.  In the center is the constellation Ursa Major, with the great mother bear outlined in Mica. Her spiraling movement, as she forever circles Sirius, the guiding star, is above us always in the night sky, tracing the great turning Wheel.
[ View all pieces ]

Return to Gallery