Victoria Pimentel

Mythopoeia

Senior Project April 2013

Artist Statement


Storytelling and myth making have been part of human culture since its beginning. Mythopoeia is a narrative genre in modern literature and film where a fictional mythology is created by the writer of prose or other fiction. This use of mythopoeia was made popular by J.R.R Tolkien in the 1930s, where the authors of this genre such as C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) and J.R.R Tolkien (Lord of the Rings) integrate traditional mythological themes and archetypes into fiction. Myths and stories are very human concepts and are constantly incorporated into our everyday lives. It helps us understand the unknown and make sense of the world around us. Mythopoeia is almost invariably created entirely by an individual, and is what I aim to achieve through my series. My world of Tendaji examines the archetypal story and character patterns of aged and fabricated myths to create a complete world in itself with its own mythic system of stories.


Storytelling has without a doubt been a focus of my work as an artist, and I continually tell and listen to stories on a daily basis. Stories such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, but also older legends and myths such as the Odyssey and the 12 Labors of Hercules, survive through the years and become important facets of current culture. Stories become exciting, enchanting, and liberating and I not only wanted to know what it was that made them so grand but to break them down into pieces, knowing what makes them tick and what makes them work so well for so long. I wanted to implement and share my knowledge of myths and stories through my art with the intent of examining these aspects. Previously I had used storytelling in my work without examining why; without knowing what it was that drew me to it. The work displayed here are scaled-down models of scenes from the mythology of Tendaji. The five separate pieces depict the creation of the Alkidike, the heroes’ journey and trials, the visiting of the oracle, heading into the belly of the beast, and the hero’s drive to succeed. The display of these particular scenes not only tells some of the history of Tendaji, but also the story of the journey of the main characters and their time in Tendaji. These separate scenes, while from varying characters and times, are displayed in an overarching chronological story displaying the hero’s myth as an archetype.


Mythopoeia required an extensive use of wire and aluminum foil for the armatures and bulking out the pieces as well as Sculpey to construct the finished surface form and details. Curing the Sculpey included using my home oven as well as a heat gun for later additions to the surface. The forms were finished with acrylic paints through blending, dry brushing and air brushing techniques creating the versatility needed to create depth and gradation. These scaled-down models range from 18 inches to 24 inches tall with an addition of a smaller 9 inch piece. Each model within the series is accompanied by a title that allows the audience insight to the scene taking place and creating a further understanding of the entire series and how it ties together.

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