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Perne in a Gyre, (Yeats)

Oil on Canvas, 66x60


The phrase, perne in a gyre, from the poem “Sailing to Byzantium” by WB Yeats, is part of Yeats' highly idiosyncratic terminology. A perne is a bobbin of a spinning mill and gyre is a circular motion, as in gyrate. The resulting image is that of simultaneously circulating and moving up through the cone of time. I made up the central figure of this painting to represent some possibility as to what Yeats’ “perne” may have looked like. The painting itself, like the poem, addresses the relationship between the temporal and the eternal. With that in mind I incorporate physics equations and fragments of sacred and philosophical texts, all of which to some extent point to the transient nature of manifestation against a timeless background.

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