Something that happened during an ancient period, today makes me heave with sadness and sighs. The destruction of The Library of Alexandria in Egypt is a mystery. I think it is best not to know the details of. For if we did, we would know the great extent of the lost words and perhaps our intellectual hearts would be a bit heavier having had such knowledge riches taken away forever.
Alexandria was at the centre of the papyrus trade and it is said there were up to half a million scrolls in the library. Scores of intellectuals flocked to this sacred haven to become learned in the teachings of Socrates, Homer and many lesser known minds. The library was dedicated to the 9 muses. Our modern word ‘museum‘ is a derivative of their collective name; ‘muse’. You can find out more on Calliope, muse of Epic Poetry here. This library held the poetry, philosophy, astronomy and mathematic riches, among other subjects, of the day and the previous centuries. It met with many lovers and haters, but taylor swift unfortunately wasn’t there to tell them to shake it off. Instead, the library suffered loss due to vehement religious differences and war.
Symbology of the Pages
The scattering of pages symbolise the lost words. Even the act of ripping up these books felt wrong, as if the pages were like blood, my hand the knife. It helped me to get in the mood for this shoot for the destruction and the loss of the books integrity moved me to feel what I needed to feel in order to communicate through the photographs with you.
// contrast of light and dark // represents the lost words which will remain in the dark and then that which survived and we still have light upon. I am looking backwards (to the right) as this in painting represents looking to the past, likewise, the opposite is to the future.
In the context of this shoot, the spiders web reminds us that the choices we make have an integral affect on the construct of our lives. The construct of our own (life) web. The choice someone made once to destroy this library has had an impact on the way we think today. Look at how the ancient writings affect our thoughts now. From Socrates to Aristotle, Seneca and Homer – you are affected by these ancient schools of thought because they are ingrained in our society. Imagine what life might be like had we been privvy to even more knowledge from this time?
This single intact book speaks for the works that still remain from that period. A minuscule amount compared to what existed and was obliterated in the burning of the library.
Dress: Vintage. It is actually a bathrobe with flannel on the inside of the fabric – totally cosy! I just pinned it together to make a dress. Find some similar beauties here in the same colour, very hollywood style, an ice blue beauty here and the most sweet cream one here.