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Spindles of Necessity
Painting Series about Cell Division

Spindles of Necessity I - 3' x 4', 2005, oil on canvas. $5000 framed for all five, plus tax and shipping.

 A dividing cell goes through beautiful and dramatic changes. In this series of five main stages of cell division, a goddess has been created to presides over these events. She is modelled after the greek goddess Ananke as she appeared in one of Plato's visions about his republic (Plato's Republic Book 10). Her spinning wheel is at the center of control. As in a real cell, threads emerge from the wheel as the control center goes from a small incidental part, to a grand elaborate structure, and back down to a small part at the end of the process. 

 

Depiction of the cycle of life is a prevalent theme in mythology. Scenes from the lives of cyclic greek characters after images from ancient greek pottery and wall frescoes appear across the bottom in sepia tones.

Spindles of Necessity II - Metaphase 3' x 4', oil on canvas, 2005.  
The goddess of cell division travels to the upper half of the cell with her spinning wheel in preparation for cell division. Her reflection can be seen below, where her double is forming to preside over the other half of the cell. Across the bottom, Persephone and her mother, Demeter, are united while the cell is whole.

Spindles of Necessity III - Anaphase.  3' x 4', oil on canvas, 2005.  

 

The goddess of cell division is now reeling up souls into the sky, like chromosomes would be drawn to the sides of a dividing cell. The cell is becoming pinched at the middle, in preparation for division into two separate cells. A scene from the life of Dionysus is pictured across the bottom.  His birth coincides with the birth of a new cell.

Spindles of Necessity IV - Late Anaphase.  3' x 4', oil on canvas, 2005.  

The souls (chromosomes) are now at the opposite ends of the cell - a set for each side. The reformation of the cell nuclei are echoed by the rising moon and sun. As the cell prepares to rip apart, it pinches dramatically at the waist.  A scene from the death of Dionysus is pictured across the bottom left, and Dionysus as a bunch of grapes is on the right. Dionysus is ripped apart by his worshipers in the winter, so he can be reborn in the spring as a new vine, like the birth of two new cells from one cell after teasing apart the chromosomal material into two parts.

Spindles of Necessity V - Telophase.  3' x 4', oil on canvas, 2005.  
The cell has now divided into two cells - mother and daughter cell.  Across the bottom, Persephone is pictured with Hades, with whom she must spend half of each year. The divided cell reflects her thoughts of living in two different worlds.

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