A MUSIC PROJECT (after JN): Proserpyna, proposed by Darcey Bella Arnold with an invitation to William Vyvyan Murray…
Proserpina is a song written by Kate McGarrigle and then covered by her daughter Martha Wainwright. It is an allegory for the creation of the seasons. It describes Ceres (goddess of agriculture, fertility, grains, the harvest, motherhood and the earth “all the good stuff” Kate McGarrigle says in a live concert, available to view on YouTube) weeping for her daughter Proserpina to return…
Proserpina is kidnapped and taken to the underworld, kept there by eating the seeds of a pomegranate. Through her grief Ceres denies the growth of food and warmth from the sun, creating the seasons Autumn and Winter. When Proserpina is returned Spring and Summer occur, this separation is repeated each year. There are many versions of this parable with different names and places.
Darcey was primarily drawn to this fable for the mother/daughter relationship, the bond within the original ancient mythology and then repeated within the contemporary music of Kate and Martha. She made most of these paintings living with her mother, painting in the domestic space and listening to music.
This project included four evening performances by violist William Vyvyan Murray, with an accompanying three-day exhibition of the Proserpina series, by Darcey Bella Arnold.
F. B. Price—Bright Eyes
G. F. Händel—L’ascio che io Pianga
V. Fine —Persephone
Judith Hamann —Humming Etude
Oene Van Geel —Gesualdo’s Bovenkammer, Brinkmania
Ruby Hunter—Oh Breathe on Me
Thea Musgrave—In the still of the Night
William Vyvyan Murray—Punica granatum
The exhibition was on view Friday 23 April, Saturday 24 April and Sunday 25 April, 12-5 pm.
Photography by André Piguet.