Satyr is a unique work from the series Lost Tales: Walking with Gods and depicts Travis’ version of the creature from Greek mythology through an Australian lens.
Walking with Gods is a continuation of the work I have been exploring involving a modern application of folk tales, particularly those involving the gods, demons and creatures from Australian Indigenous Lore.
As a Gamilaroi man, I am particularly interested in reinterpreting those stories from the legacy of my ancient tribal group. For me, recreating these myths echoes the studies of Joseph Campbell or the expansive worlds of Neil Gaiman. These stories and the related paintings resonate from some deep root of our psyche that reaches back through antiquity into the modern world. There is a fusion when two cultures exist together, an ebb and flow of ideas and belief or the violent clash of opposing ideals.
I am exploring the melting pot of ideas in the intersection of western mythologies with Aboriginal spirituality that is a relatively new combination when placed against the 40,000+ year of Australian cultural history.
Deep in New South Wales, Australia is the town of Glen Innes. Glen Innes has a surprisingly large Celtic population who have built monuments to their Scottish heritage. This includes a modern recreation of Stonehenge placed on top of a mountain nearby the town. I have visited the place many times and I find the area is incredibly eerie. Members of the local Aboriginal tribe: the Gamilaroi people have continued their eons old ceremonies atop the mountain. It is this very mix of cultures and mythologies that I explore in Lost Tales: Walking with Gods.
When the Celtic people came to Australia, they didn’t just bring themselves; they brought with them their beliefs and with their beliefs came their gods.
The god Baleros no longer remembers who he was. He still felt the power, however he longer knows what it means and what he is meant to do with it. He remembers ceremonies; flashes of fire, people dancing around stones wearing masks of animal skin, thick red blood being spilt upon the ground, split in his name. Now, he no longer remembers his name.
This land had taken much from him but it would not take his power. He still held that within, he just no longer knew what to do with it.
When the abductions began the small sleep town didn’t know what to do. Children began to disappear from their beds. The parent found them later atop the hill, shaking, twisted, unable to speak other than to say: Bal-er-os. That was until they no longer found the children alive; only shallow pits dug for graves with small twisted bodies within.
They had become abominations, used for rituals by a god that no longer remembered who he was. Biame, sky god of the Gamilaroi had no choice but to intervene…
Satyr is a 50cm x 90cm Oil on Canvas painting. The work comes professionally mounted.