Demeter screen print
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An ode to Demeter, grain goddess and she who rules over agriculture, fertility of the land, and the harvest. Perhaps most well known for her passionate motherhood, Demeter is the mother of Persephone and their deep bond lies at the center of one of the oldest known mystery cults, The Elusinian Mysteries. When Persephone was taken to the underworld, Demeter, in her grief and sadness, allowed the crops to die, giving way to a barren landscape and the harsh season we know as winter. When Persephone returned, Demeter’s heart was once again full and, in her happiness, plants began to bloom anew, birthing springtime. The depths of Demeter’s emotions are forever tied to the cycle of seasons and each year, when the growing seasons ends, we begin to feel the onset of her cold despair once more. In this drawing, I wanted to depict the many sides of Demeter’s myth— fierceness, determination, grief, despair, and a bit of anger. Wielding dual sickles, the grain goddess is encompassed within a wreath of wheat and poppies with a pomegranate at its pinnacle, symbolizing Persephone and the fruit that sealed her fate in the underworld. Poppies are sacred to Demeter because they grow among barley, another grain ruled over by the goddess, and myth tells us that she offered opium poppy pods to her priestesses in thanks for their devotion. Rising from the base of the wreath is a potion of barley and mint known as the Kykeon, which is the only form of sustenance Demeter would consume while in her grief. The Kykeon is said to be a brew of life and death, waking and dreaming, which allowed Demeter a link to the underworld and to her beloved daughter, Persephone. This connection also garnered her rights as a Chthonian deity. In her diadem sits the emblem of a sow, an animal favored by Demeter and often given as an offering at her temples. Flanking the pig are two cornucopias overflowing with Henbane, another plant sacred to the goddess. It is believed that Henbane’s nicknames of ‘Hog Bean’ and ‘Pig Bean’ stem from the plants links to Demeter and pigs. Lastly, two snakes weave throughout the drawing in reference to the snake that acted as psychopomp for Demeter, guiding her safely to the underworld. The snakes also symbolize Demeter’s duality with Persephone as well as the cycles of life and death in all living things.
Demeter is original artwork, hand drawn and screenprinted by Adrienne Rozzi.
Printed with black ink on kraft-toned Stonehenge archival paper. Measures approximately 15" x 15" (inches)
Please refer to last photo for most accurate portrayal of paper color.
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