|My 'Elen' Medallion - Pyrography on Birch|
An image of a woman with antlers had been in my mind for a little while..I knew nothing about the image and assumed it was another of my slightly odd inner 'visions'. The image was eventually given form on paper, and became the drawing I named 'Spirit of Albion'. The lady with antlers had developed a green face, and I thought of her as a kind of spirit of growth, fecundity, the earth and the forest and also representing 'Englishness'.
|'Spirit of Albion'|
Since that initial discovery I have studiously avoided reading about Elen, although intrigued and tempted to do so! I don't want my inner idea, or feeling of this antlered woman to be influenced by what I might read - my way of getting to know her needs to be through allowing images to arise.
Around this time I was asked to create an 'Elen of the Ways' Pendant using my pyrography technique, which again required that I draw on inner feelings about Elen. The design I created depicts a goddess figure, with antlers, and holding a flaming torch in one hand and staff in the other, set against a starry night sky. I wanted to show the figure offering guidance on the path -hence the staff, and to be a 'light in the darkness', hence the flaming torch.
My next glimpse of Elen, in 2013, came in the form of words - a short verse arose in my mind during a period when I was making a number of Elen pendants, which had proved very popular..The verse helped to give further shape to my understanding of Elen ..and introduced the notion of her as a mysterious shape-shifter..
' Lady of the ley-lines, Elen of the Ways,
Essence of the Forest, and sacred sunlit days -
Through dappled green we glimpse her,
A dance of shimmering light,
A vision on the pathway...
A graceful hart of white..'
By 2014 Elen had continued to develop in the recesses of my mind..and was ready to step forward into another picture. 'Elen of the ways- Forest Dancer' is
|'Elen of the Ways, Forest Dancer'|
Another year passes..throughout which I work on whatever images demand to be created! I never force ideas - the drawings I create are whatever is right at a given moment. Elen is still there in the background, waiting her time..
In 2015 she made her appearance, again in a kind of winter forest setting entitled 'Elens Wood'. This Elen is much more still and tranquil than the dancing version..here we see her as more of a contemplative..accompanied by white doves.
Her most recent appearance, in January 2016 continues this contemplative theme.
'Lady of the Forest' depicts Elen in thoughtful, compassionate mood, gazing at a blackbird. Her antlers have developed their own tree growth which provide succour to the birds and creatures of the forest..so that she appears in a slightly mystical form..it is interesting to compare this version with the first, green faced figure of 'Spirit of Albion' -there are similarities, particularly with the idea of her antlers developing supportive growth.
No doubt she will continue to dwell and shape-shift within the depths of my mind until she is ready to reveal herself in new form..
|'Lady of the Forest'|