Art by Vanessa Papastavros


Rationale for Demeter’s Grief


The Rape of Persephone is a recurring image in classical art, perhaps due to the ample symbolism within the story. Persephone’s loss of innocence in the Underworld at the hands of Hades continues to resonate as a theme for many women today. However, for the purposes of this piece, I chose to centre upon Demeter, Persephone’s mother.

Demeter, goddess of harvest, is the archetypal ‘earth mother’, a divine figure of fertility and giver of life. In this classic Greek myth, some of the infinite complexity of the mother/daughter relationship is revealed. Persephone’s abduction brings about a tremendous grief and outrage in her mother. Demeter expresses these feelings by plaguing the living world with drought and barrenness. This piece therefore presents the grief of a mother at the loss of a child who she was unable to protect. Greek mythology and its legendary women remains a constant source of inspiration for me. It is a mythology that exists not only in our history, but continues to exist through us.


Rationale for The Tip of the Iceberg

The colourful, interior life of an introvert bleeds with colours, creativity, thoughts and ideas. It can be a very loud place for a seemingly quiet person. This piece explores the way in which our extroverted world can undervalue introversion. Often, people mistake introverts as shy, antisocial hermits and as a result, they are ostracised or encouraged to change. However, what ought to be considered instead is that when dealing with an introvert, you will only ever see the tip of the iceberg. The symmetry and mirroring in the composition of this piece reveal the secret world of an introvert.


A bit about the artist

My name is Vanessa Papastavros and I am a nineteen year old amateur artist studying Media, Arts and Production. I love to draw in every medium, and enjoy creating traditionally or digitally. I gain inspiration from history, both personal and collective but particularly focus on the history of women and the symbolism within archetypal storytelling.