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You do not have to meet an animal in person in order to see it. A photograph may be a copy, but aptly transmit the subject’s essence. That is why ‘dead’ people you love change their Polaroid expressions so completely, according to the way things are.
Christ’s message of abundance is returned through dining pigs, content in the light garden. Egyptian mythology associates the sow with fertility and abundance. A theme of endless revival runs through ancient Celtic and Nordic myths. There is a Celtic folk tale of the sea God, Manannan, who owned a herd of pigs that ceaselessly renewed its numbers, although this was only so that they could be eaten the following day. Rebirth, albeit twisted rebirth for the sake of humans’ satiety, appears in Norse mythology. Saehrimnir is the boar that dies and resurrects, only to be killed again by the gods’ cook, for the nightly feast.
The pig is considered unclean in Christian, Islamic and Judaic religions, and is often yoked with sloth and greed. They seem the object of humans’ polar projections. Those religions are probably onto something, by leaving these intelligent creatures alone.
I began with a painting, and moved onto drawings, with a view to developing etchings. The pigs seemed to want to take residence in Louis Le Naine’s Repast, and now they are gathering from other places. The etching might not work because I am tracing the drawing onto the plate, and losing the original line’s feeling in the process. It’s preferable to draw directly.
Marlene Dumas painted from the photographs of others, and her portraits are very much alive, living, brimming, even her dead faces. The faces of murdered women, are very much alive. I know that approximation is not mandatory. You can know someone from a painting that another person painted of them, hundreds or thousands of years ago. Or a photograph from a magazine. Sometimes the pertinence is a surprise. It folds down into something very present and close to home at times.