I was recently involved in the Artificial Fiction show at Ayden Gallery here in Vancouver, a show whose theme was the exploration of the mythology and folklore and stories in our culture. Invitation made to me, the images and the stories immediately began conjuring in my mind. All of them, I discovered seemed connected in focusing on the women in mythology I considered some of the most nobel, yet who had been scape goats or figures of admonition.
Pandora is one. In the legend she is tempted intentionally with a vessel she is forbidden to open. When she does, all the evil, pestilence, warfare and misery in existence flooded forth into the world. What remained was hope. I've always thought that suffering made deeper, more empathetic people of us, and stronger once we heal though it takes time, and so perhaps in the same way as with the fable of Eve, we were more self actualized and richer people for this event. I hold curiosity and the striving to question and to know, as one of the greatest virtues a person can have. In the original story Pandora opened an urn, not a box, and I liked this because an urn looks so much like the figure of a woman, the locus of controversy in this and so many legends. The original story also depicts hope as embodied in a dragonfly. I had planned for her to reach out to this spirit, but in the end decided to omit it. The gesture is universal, and it alone says enough.