It was my intention to write a bit about this series after shooting it in July. It is born from a concept that I have been meditating on for the past year or so, made flesh after a number of months of planning and constructing the costume, which came to rest upon the shoulders and crown of my dearest love and muse, Glenna. It was a beautiful day, which I hope to always remember, spent with women that are dear to my heart on the shores of New England. Gabriel, gold foil crowns and breasts, summer's first dip in the ocean, jars full of wild rose hips. But I digress:
A good portion of the past year was spent absorbed in the mythology presented in James Merrill's The Changing Light At Sandover. I will not bother to summarize it here; blessings be to internet search engines for allowing me some brevity. For a variety of reasons, for a year or so prior to reading the epic poem, my mind was steeped in the idea of creation being born from destruction, and the necessary tandem of the two forces. I can not contribute anything new to this age-old observation, but it is a fascination that led me to be especially intrigued by Merrill's unique account of the angel Gabriel. He is presented as the right hand of God, the force which is obligated to keep the overly enthusiastic creative force of God in check. He is described as a dark, shrouded, bat-like character with fiery red eyes, who is reticent to engage in any conversation or speak of his calling, which he dutifully accepts, but brings him no joy. Merrill and his partner David Jackson spend a good deal of time trying to convince Gabriel of the reasons why man is worth saving, citing the transcendent power of music, art and poetry mainly. Gabriel is unmoved; I am as well. I honor this maligned and misunderstood character, though perhaps honored by a few in the form of Shiva, or in card 13 of the tarot, and present him (/her) in a new form here.