The Grapevine Art Salon
Musings on Being and Becoming Human
Issue 1: Fall 2004
AT HOME here are writers speaking in a style more conversational than studied for an audience who might be seated on a front porch at night watching fireflies create random small rays to light up the listening, or in the dining room of an ancient inn with lamps and perhaps a hearth fire to kindle community.
It takes only one or two steps of the imagination to move through the dusk to the dining room at the inn or the porch of a house or, by daylight, to a backyard garden for picking grapes and for gossiping, a verbal mode associated with the term grapevine. We say, I heard it on the grapevine, referring to rumor, advance news of interest to the community, sometimes scandal, always a dramatic story or piece of a story, circulating, making the rounds, lingering on the surface even when it suggests hidden things.
Gossip is a varietal narrative to be cultivated for its piquancies. But art, like soul, yearns for depths. And for that we look to the mythic background of grapevine.
The home page features an image of the Greek god Dionysos, source of drama and the vine, giver of wine (he is called “the Loosener”) and patron of the symposium where, it is said, he carries the charm of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, in his eyes. His affinity to other mythological figures such as the Hindu god Krishna (Dionysos is said in certain stories to have come from the East) will be explored in subsequent salons.
In the Greek stories Dionysos lives among humans, shows in human form the face of a god, and rides on a panther. Thus he displays the fullness of human potential, from instinct through soul to spirit. He is accompanied by nymphs and satyrs, hybrid creatures who remind us that our humanity does not come to us fully formed but rather is something we create (or fall short of creating) in a lifetime.
One room of the site is the salon in which presentations are going on. Another is a reading gallery for exploring parallel worlds in art and mythology. A third contains a miscellany of pictures and quotations meant to amplify the ongoing theme of this symposium: what it means to be human.
The SALON welcomes a variety of storytellers and image makers and thinkers, from promising beginners to seasoned artists of mature and full-bodied talents.
Copyright ©2004 Barbara Knott · All Rights Reserved
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