I have several walls to cover with murals for this installation. I thought I had one side of the gallery figured out in my mind, but hadn’t a clue as to what should go onto the walls on the other side of the gallery which are shorter and set back behind an overhang. Ironically, once I started working on sketches, searching out references, and gathering sources the situation completely reversed! I started seriously rethinking the imagery for the taller wall that I had felt so sure about and suddenly, almost full blown, an idea popped into my head for the shorter murals under the overhang.
The room in the Villa of the Mysteries where the famous murals (that give the villa its name) are located was a dining room, a triclinium. Since it’s excavation, it has been referred to as the “red” room because of the vibrant red color that grounds the figures. I plan on covering the panels of paper I will use with washes of burnt sienna, a strong brick red color on which I will depict figures engaged in daily activity, all gazing out directly at the viewer, as if suspended in time and activity. You will only see their faces and hands though which will be modeled in white, as if covered in ash and preserved for eternity. These sculptural pieces of hands and arms are examples of imagery that got me thinking in this direction.