9.20.2013

Carousel Series

Carousels and their history have intrigued me for some time now. In his book "A Pictorial History of the Carousel" Frederick Fried states that "the earliest visual record of a carousel device appears in a Byzantine bas-relief 1500 years ago."

Although a fun ride for most children (and some adults) today the carousel probably originated from war like games played by horsemen in Arabia and Turkey during the twelfth century. Indeed "the word "carousel" derives from the ancient Italian and Spanish words garosello or carosella meaning "little war." The horsemen utilized their riding skills to play a game in which they threw "little clay balls filled with scented water to each other. The object was not to miss the catch."

The Canadian song writer, singer and artist, Joni Mitchel's song "The Circle Game" 1970 employs a carousel metaphor in a philosophical look at life. "and the seasons they go round and round and the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time We can't return we can only look behind from where we came And go round and round in the circle game."

These influences led me to do a series of carousel paintings.


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