HECATE by jean pronovost
This sculpture leaves a deeply lasting impression: it’s intense, and like nothing you’ve seen before. The one thing that is clear immediately is the glowing flame on top. It is a piece that beckons you to come closer, and at the same time it says keep your distance; it’s inviting and yet unsettling; there’s something that feels familiar and yet so strange. But the longer you allow yourself to dwell in this contradictory feeling of duality, the more things will become clear
Goddess of the underworld and queen of the dead, Hecate bore a torch to light the darkness. She was a powerful woman with three faces. Her classical Greek legend is brought to life here in a three-sided sculpture. She was a goddess entrusted by the gods with the task of leading the human dead and all the nocturnal animals. Like most stories of mythology teach us, we cannot have life without death. Hecate brings light as much as darkness, she is the original moon goddess. To reflect her nature, every side of the sculpture contains elements of the others, and all are symbols evoking the natural cycle life and death. One side is of her face, complete with horns, and another side is a wolf skull with a skeleton arm and hand reaching out of its mouth, and the third side is a human skull with a living human hand emerging from it. The torso of the sculpture has both components of life and death: the fleshly breasts of Hecate and a skeletal rib cage. Hecate’s torso is also covered in nocturnal vegetation like mushrooms. Snakes are emerging from the ground towards her bright torchlight, which is mounted on top of vertebrae. This presentation of Hecate seeks to remind us that we must accept death as part of the beauty of life, that where is there is darkness, there is also always light. This statue brings its own brilliant flame just in case you forget.
HECATE - THE PROCESS
- This sculpture took roughly 3 years to complete.
- Made in two pieces and there is a triangle of glass separating the two halves.
- The bottom is triangular in shape, and it is made entirely out of metal and soldered. The serpent structure is also a metal rod that is shaped, carved, and soldered to the triangle shape. Sometimes plastic tubes were used to help create the shape and texture of a snake. Then resin was applied in different layers to create the various textures for the sculpture – e.g., the ribs, and then the stuff in between the ribs, then the mushrooms, etc. and it was all reinforced with fiberglass.
- The top is also a triangle shape, creating the three faces. The ones with the arms of the dead and the living reaching out have metal structures inside the arms, and these are soldered together, and they go into the structure of the head, and then there is a pin that connects the head to the base.
- The torch: a wire goes from the head into the base and out through a hole in the table into a propane tank. The flame size is adjustable. The more fuel given, the higher and brighter the flame and the more interesting shadows it casts and flickers onto the table. The flame also casts out of the three characters’ faces in the top, creating a vibrant aesthetic of lightening.
- The sculpture is coated in copper powder, then polished, oxidized with classic green patina and varnished.