Stone from Delphi
CR: The relationship between word and image has long been a subject of both artistic practice, as in medieval illuminated manuscripts, and art-historical analysis; there is even a scholarly journal explicitly called Word and Image. Your work for Stone from Delphi was the first time, I believe, that you created a series of paintings specifically designed to be paired with texts. Is that the kind of project you would enjoy repeating?
WA: Stone from Delphi was a wonderful experience. It was an honor for me to be chosen to make the pictures to accompany the classically themed poems by Seamus Heaney and a great challenge to make pictures that would stand in relation to the words and complement the experience of the poetry. I did not seek to translate the poetry into images: my sources were the statues of antiquity, whose sources were the myths themselves. Reading Heaney’s poems opened up new perspectives on classical statues I had painted all my life. Researching the mythological characters Heaney evoked, I discovered many other statues to paint pictures of as well. I would be happy to do another project of this sort.