Artist’s Statement,  Botanica Exhibit, Cape Museum of Fine Arts, 2002

The Grain Series

Human existence has long been inextricably linked to the harvesting of planted grains, so it is only natural that the regeneration of grain has been made mythic and has been associated with resurrection throughout the ages.  In his book, The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer eloquently explains the personification of grain as exhibited in ancient mythology and the grain harvest rituals of the world.

The names which appear in these paintings are drawn from mythologies and traditions of ancient Egypt, Greece, Phrygia, and Northern Europe.  In their various capacities, each of the characters named was associated in some way with the personification of cultivated grain and each was resurrected in some fashion, as grain is seen to be each year when it springs from the ground anew .

 Sir James Frazer writes:

“Above all, the thought of the seed buried in the earth in order to spring up to new and higher life readily suggested a comparison with human destiny, and strengthened the hope that for man too the grave may be but the beginning of a better and happier existence in some brighter world unknown.”

These paintings are an attempt to express my own testament to the cyclical resurrection of life.  Moreover, like most of my work, they are a vehicle for the continuing exploration of my own beliefs.

Tom Watson