What is Mnemosyne?

Mnemosyne is the title of an ongoing personal project inspired by Greek mythology. 

Mnemosyne   Oil and 24k gold leaf on board, 14 x 18 inches

Oil and 24k gold leaf on board, 14 x 18 inches

As my work has matured, I've become aware of a need for focus.  I have many loves and many abilities, and I genuinely love to create art about many things and in many different modes.  But as time has passed, this seeming-versatility has become more of a hindrance than a help.  So I asked myself: if I could focus on just one set of subject matter, what would it be?  What love could I remporarily lay aside other loves to pursue?  And as I thought on it, I remembered an old childhood fondness, a set of figures and symbols and stories that have shown up in my work a number of times over the years, but which I have never before given the fullness of my heart: Greek mythology.  The more I thought about it and researched, the more perfect I realized it was: a mythos spanning all the possibilities from the grotesque to the sublime could be plumbed for inspiration near-endlessly.  Rather than feeling in any way like a limitation, it instead sparked idea after idea, as I rediscovered things I have loved all along, and near-forgotten.

It is this journey of remembering, of re-realizing a love that has been with me all along, that gives the project its name: Mnemosyne

Mnemosyne is the goddess of memory - not of recorded memory, not of written histories, but of oral tradition, of memory passed from person to person, mediated-upon and cherished.  Poets and bards in ancient days would call upon her before recitation, invoking her favor to keep their words true.  All too fittingly, she is also the mother of the Muses, and thus by extension, the mother of inspiration.