“a crescent of glittering steel, about a foot in length from horn to horn; the horns upward, and the under edge evidently as keen as that of a razor” Edgar Allen Poe, "The Pit and the Pendulum"
What is more chilling than things that go bump in the night? How about the beating of the tell-tale heart? And the eerie repetition of an enigmatic raven? Will you drink from the cask of Amontillado? This season of Halloween and haunts and the Day of the Dead is perfect for calling up the creative contributions of Edgar Allen Poe. He was a master of his craft, an apologist for poetry, inventor of the detective stories, foreseer of quantum physics – and the writer of stories that chill us to the bone.
On the occasion of Poe’s bicentennial of his birth five years ago, I was invited to participate in an art exhibition depicting scenes from his stories and poems. Most of the artists painted ravens! Despite the fact that “The Raven” is one of my favorite poems (inspired by the raven that Dickens invented for his Barnaby Rudge), I wanted to create something more challenging. So I went with “The Pit and the Pendulum”. After several close readings of the story, I selected the scene in which the sharpened blade is swinging ever closer to the bound victim. Most of the story takes place in darkness, but the narrator describes the weapon like this: “a crescent of glittering steel, about a foot in length from horn to horn; the horns upward, and the under edge evidently as keen as that of a razor” inexorably descending with a hiss. Dread, horror and the agonizing passage of time – both too fast and too slow – dominate the story.
The close up shows the detail of the pendulum, slightly askew, as it would be seen in swift motion by an observer only anticipating the worst. Look closely and you will see I have included phrases like “tempus fugit” and "take some time to just be".
I will be bringing the original of this collage “Tempus Fugit” to the Market on Sunday, with prints of it in various sizes as well. We will be celebrating the upcoming spooky holidays.
I will also be working on my new piece, the second in the Coral Reef series.
And, Hooray for Chicago!
Go, Cubs, go!
Come along – if you dare!
Love and Peace
D E C O
Art, news and thoughts from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Facebook | Instagram | Etsy: