michelle sanger
Fine Artist • Michelle Sanger

Gallery

Amaltheia

Amaltheia

Amaltheia was the foster mother of Zeus, who was charged with raising him in a cave in Crete to protect him from his father.

She is sometimes represented as a goat, and sometimes as a goatherder. In one stream of legend, when Zeus was an infant he broke off one of his mother’s horns and played with it. It became known as Cornucopia and Amalthea became the first unicorn.

In this work you can see the Cretan hillsides, a tree divided into two strong branches, with one broken off which represents Amaltheia. There is a shield (Aegis), an evil eye (representing protection) and a myriad of pebbles, which are a running theme through many of my works.

Stars feature as an eternal link from the past to eternity, and also as a symbol of those lost and yet to come. Every human, no matter the age, sex, culture, or experience has looked at a night sky - it’s our one universal experience.

Offerings for Namazu

Offerings for Namazu

Namazu is the legendary Catfish that in Japanese culture is believed responsible for earthquakes.

Offerings to Namazu explores our superstitions about warding off disaster.

It can be hard at times to feel like we can do anything to ward off disaster - particularly climate change, and that doing small things to ward off the impending doom of climate change may be futile. We seek to wrap the earth with small gestures, which makes us feel like we have some control. Perhaps, as individual humans that's all we can do to get by and any small measure, if comforting is meaningful.

The rocks here are offerings, carefully wrapped in crochet and tenderly offered to Namazu via the sea.

Acrylic Ink on Board, 2019.

Ataegina

Ataegina

Ataegina, is known in legends as the goddess who is reborn in the spring to live through summer and symbolically dies each Autumn in an infinite cycle.

Goddesses of rebirth hold a special interest for me, and trees are a recurring theme, personally representing strength in the face of impermanence.

This work is acrylic ink on wood and shadow framed in black oak.

Echidna - Feast of a Thousand

Echidna - Feast of a Thousand

On a holiday with my family at Cradle Mountain we came across a lovely little echidna at Twilight. He was going about his business until he noticed us and then froze - still as a rock. When we stopped he started his gentle hunt again and I wondered how many ants he had consumed in his lifetime.

On coming home I researched the echidna in our first people’s stories and was enthralled at the tale of Piggibilla and how he used to be an man. Piggibilla grew old and grew to dislike hunting for food, instead he took to luring young folk to his home and eating them. When his secret was discovered, the men surprised him at night, and threw their spears into his back, breaking his bones in the process, but he didn’t die - instead he crawled into the shadows and lived the rest of his life hiding, and searching for insects and scraps of food.

Daucina

Daucina

Daucina - in Fijian mythology is the God of the sea, and the story goes that when he was a toddler is was only quiet when looking at a lamp, so his mother tied ‘fiery reeds’ to his head to keep him calm.

I love that image, and the story that he is roaming about the coral reefs with a hood on, causing mischief wherever he goes. The sea is a trickster.

Acrylic ink on wood. 30cm sq and framed in oak. 2017 (SOLD)

The unexpected homecoming of Erik & Asger

The unexpected homecoming of Erik & Asger

Those lost at sea, according to Nordic legends, visit loved ones left behind in the form of cormorants.

I have a fascination with the sea, and enormous admiration for the people who sailed it in past years to travel, to trade and to explore. I do feel though, when gazing out to a rough sea on a grey day, that it must have been a source of great worry for those left behind with months or years in between contacts. To see a cormorant visiting, wondering if it was your loved one, or a relative, must have been at once comforting and troubling.

Acrylic ink on wood, framed in black oak.

Persephone

Persephone

Persephone was abducted by Hades, the God of the Underworld in Greek mythology and became her queen.

She represents the personification of Spring, vegetation, and rebirth.

This work features abstracted vegetation, seeds and mew life, and at the top - Persephone’s view of the sky from the earth below.

Acrylic ink on wood. Framed in Black Oak and metre square.