I wanted to create a valentines design that represented the history and mythology behind it and some of its symbols.Athena was a the Goddess of love in Greek mythology. The dove is a symbol of love as it was her favourite animal because of its loyal and affectionate nature. Roses were reported to be her favourite flower because they were like love themselves- beautiful as the flower but watch out for thorns as you can be hurt. The blind fold represents the veil of disguise she put on her son’s forbidden love, a beautiful mortal princess. She believed Eros (her son) only fell for her looks and was jealous of such beauty as Athena was also regarded as the Goddess of beauty. So the girl appeared to him as a nymph working for the gods. The veil was only lifted when Eros fell for the servant Nymph as it proved he loved her soul as well.
The Roman’s didn’t not celebrate Valentine’s Day as we know it know but a different version of it-Lupercalia.It was a fertility ceremony where the men sacrificed a goat, rubbed the blood on their foreheads and washed it off with milk. They then proceeded to take strips of the goat’s skin and ran, naked, anti-clockwise round the town where the women lined the streets for the men to whip them with the skin. People thought at the time that this would bring luck, love and fertility to the women in their town… anyway I decided to represent this in my work with the little drops of blood coming from the doves feet, which also ties into the warning Athena gave about the rose’s thorns. I also represented this in my colour scheme reflecting the colours of the blood and milk mixing: off-white, pink and red.