Eight Graces deals with different kinds of survival stories involving gods and human beings. The Graces (Charites) are Aphrodite’s assistants who represent fertility and charm. There have been several versions and combinations of the Graces in different times and in different parts on Ancient Greece. If we consider them all, they are eight, each one with her own name. I introduce the Graces as independent and separate characters, but I also picture certain ever-changing uniform powers they build up together as a whole. My interpretation of the Graces seeks human and empowering figures in which people can easily recognise themselves. They symbolise the individual and diverse strengths and powers within each person.
Graces in Greek mythology
The Graces are immortals or minor goddesses of beauty, fertility and charm and they are part of Aphrodite’s retinue. There have been several versions and combinations of the Graces in different times and in different parts of Ancient Greece. The most famous of them is the version of Eteocles in which they are three: Mirth, Splendor and Good Cheer. According to Lacedaemon they are two: Sound and Light. According to the Athenians, they are three and their names are Growth, Queen and Persuasion. In addition there has been a version of two, Growth and Queen as well as a version of three, Mirth, Splendor and Sound. The Graces have been considered as patronesses of amusement and festivities, as displayed in an ancient vase painting. There they are five and their names are Blossoms, Happiness, Play, Banquet and Night Festivities.
In my work, balance is one of the uniform powers that Graces build up together.
Aphrodite is the goddess of love and fertility in Greek mythology. She has never been a child, because she was born from the foam of the sea and was right away an adult woman. Due to her charisma and cunning she won a beauty competition against two other goddesses. She promised to the judge, a mortal man, that he would get to marry a mortal named Paris if he chose her as the most beautiful. Aphrodite’s duty is to arrange people’s relationships so that there is more or less mess.
Poseidon is Zeus’s brother and the god of the sea, earthquake and horses. Like Zeus, he fell in love also with men, and he seduced women disguised as a dolphin. He is a bit mean and fights constantly for the power of aboveground places. Sometimes he sticks his three spiked spear to the bottom of the sea to create earthquakes. The good effect in these quakes is that they result in creation of beautiful islands.
Hestia is the goddess of hearth, architecture, and the right ordering of domesticity, the family, the home, and the state. In her temples, the holy fire should never go out. She remained as a virgin goddess, despite both Poseidon and Apollon wanting to marry her.
“Phoenix”, “Gathering” and “Roots” explore inner strenght and the strong connection between body and mind.
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