I am collaborating with the painter Lindsay Simons (@lindsay.simons.artist) on a project inspired by the ancient Sibyls. Our idea came from our mutual interest in the powerful and monumental figures in the Sistine Chapel, and their equivalence in status to the (male) prophets. The Sibyls were female prophets and their predictions were of the utmost significance. We are revisiting these in a more contemporary context. At present I am exploring the work of female scientists, starting with Marie Curie and Rosalind Franklin, and researching newer, inspiring female scientists whose strength, foresight and determination have led to life-changing advances in our understanding and experience of the world.
These two images (from my phone; I've not yet been able to document them properly) are one of three pairs based on the atomic diagrams for the elements discovered by Marie Curie at the turn of the last century. Through years of backbreaking and committed work, she reduced materials down to their constituent elements. This process is echoed in the circles of words taken from her Nobel Prize speech; this image is a selection of nouns. The words have been chosen for their epic, poetic qualities, circling back to reference the works of Virgil and Ovid who describe the encounter between the Cumaean Sibyl and Aeneas in the Aeneid. I am finding poetry in the strangest places. Lindsay and I hope to exhibit our works about the Sibyls in the future in the form of a form of dialogue between text and image.