Me, Bryony and Emily are working together on the summer project we have been given. We have to find a piece of art we like, and then respond to this, share our work with each other, and then continue to work from our findings and personal work based on the art chosen, eventually we will end with some final pieces based on the starting point and hopefully some of our work derived from this. We all went to the manchester art gallery and had a look around to find a piece of art we all agreed had aspects within it that we liked, the piece of art we chose was the art below:
"Hylas was one of the Argonauts who sailed with Jason in search of the Golden Fleece. When the adventurers harboured at an island Hylas' task was to search for fresh water for the crew. He found a gladed spring and was filling his pitcher when he was encircled by water nymphs. Hypnotically, they drew him into the watery depths and although his friends searched for him, Hylas was never seen again. In Waterhouse's hands, a myth explaining the drowning of a youth amongst sinuous lily leaves and stems, becomes an evocation of sensual female flesh, an immersion into the deadly allure of the femme fatale." - the description made by the Manchester Art gallery, where the painting is currently.
This image is large and painted almost photo realistically, not a particular style of art which instantly stands out to me, it had to be said, there is so much art in the world that has been painted in this way, I would usually just look straight past it, and not even bother to find out what it was about, that's just the way my brain works when walking around art galleries, I didn't feel an instant connection with it.
However, as we were looking at this particular piece, Bryony began telling me the story behind it. The story of how the man in the image, Hylas, is lured into a pool by those mythical women. And I quite like the idea of a man being lured into a pool of water by mythical women. It occurred to me that it is the content of a piece of art rather than a style that is important to my opinion of it, as, as soon as I knew the story of this particular painting, it some how transformed and was more aesteticially pleasing to me. The more I read about it, the more I like it.
I love drawing women, and I love the idea of woman being creatures of sexuality which are able to lure people in purely by that factor (hence my obsession with the world of burlesque), the description "..an evocation of sensual female flesh, an immersion into the deadly allure of the femme fatale." completely epitomises how the females are seen as attractive but also deadly, a dangerous combination obviously. The obvious themes of sexuality are not the only things which I have began to find interesting about this image but also the way in which the nymphs are described as 'hypnotic', it makes it very easy to imagine what this 'scene' may look like in a real life situation or film piece.
I now need to respond to this image, I feel like it is inevitable I will focus on the female figures and their meaning rather than the male, but we'll see, I might surprise myself.