Artist's Statement

Cheryl Newman

“White foam surrounded the immortal flesh/ And in it grew a girl. At first [she] touched/ On holy Cythera, from there [she] came/ To Cyprus, circled by the waves.” Hesiod's ‘Theogony’ That “girl” came to be known as Aphrodite and Cyprus the island of love. They come in search of love and adventure, but they soon find themselves possessed by Aphrodite’s longing. Amongst the ancient stones and ruins, in bars and nightclubs they begin to enact their own Greek tragedy. Each believes themselves the discoverer when they are just one of generations who have lost themselves in search of Aphrodite’s power – her name uttered in whispers. In my youth, I too found myself seduced by the raw energy of the Love Island. It is a passion that I’ve spent my life searching to rediscover. I now feel the observer, stood apart from youths embraces. Older, but not aged, redundant but still needing passion like air. Are my pupils now unreactive? Where do I find my longhaired Adonis in the bar, now I am more than sixty? ‘Searching for Aphrodite’; investigate a modern romantic myth depicting a complex emotional narrative representing gender, love and sexuality. The photographs share layers of both autobiographical and fictional storytelling. The goddess transposes what we can imagine of a woman and becomes a symbol for the multifaceted label of “love.” She was a gender fluid and sexually convoluted figure who stands for more than the ‘happily-ever-after’ end to the myth of romantic love. and Using the mythology of the Island I make collaborative performative narratives that speak to Aphrodite and Adonis, Dionysius, Narcissus and Hecate forming a playful relationship with the spaces or stages I choose. It is my search for love, an investigation of my relationship and emotional response to the island.

Colour Analogue: film/ Kodak Portra

B/W Ilford FP4

Print sizes, a, d, e, g, h, I - 20”by 20”

b- 40” wide

c- 30” wide

f- 40” wide