February 19th, 2021
“Dark Rainbow” is a series of nineteen watercolor paintings by California-based artist and educator Shannon Taylor, who describes the collection as "‘sister’ images, which are thematically and physically mirrored. This show is based around an overarching concept where the sweetness and strangeness of life is transmuted into something more mysterious and beautiful beyond death.”
Two of the works, “Bird Rider, Flock Friend”/”Bird Rider, Bat Friend” depict women sitting atop giant swan-like birds, calling to mind the classical story of Leda and the Swan, the Greek myth in which Zeus disguises himself as a swan to seduce and, in later interpretations, rape a Spartan queen named Leda.
A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
- William Butler Yeats, Leda and The Swan
When Yeats wrote this poem in 1924, Leda and the Swan became a metaphor for fate versus free will. Yeats’ (male) interpretation is that Leda (of course) is “helpless,” she (of course) succumbs to the violent assault of her body, and we are (of course) beholden to fate.
“Dark Rainbow” answers—sure, but fate is female. She holds the cosmic intervention of the moon and stars in her own hands. She wears the “dark webs” of destiny as a glittering gown. And She stands alone as the “Reaper,” to do Her will, which in Her world, is not the hateful act of violence against another but, rather, the generous bounty of all She will sow.
Candice Lee Smith
DARK RAINBOW will be physically on view from February 22nd - March 15th, 2021.
Sold works will begin to ship the week of March 22nd.
Private viewing appointments are available Monday - Friday by emailing to schedule.