Emma Rodgers - The Story of Philomela
Original ceramic, Three unique sculptures, framed and set in a pose
Size - 65cm high 65cm long 10cm wide
Emma Rodgers - The Story of Philomela is an original ceramic sculpture. This particular one has been exhibited at the Williamson Art Gallery in the Wirrall. The Tragedy of Philomela is a story not for the squeamish, that being said, here we go. Philomela was a female character in Greek mythology, the daughter of King Pandion I of Athens and Zeuxippe. She was also the sister of Procne, who married King Tereus of Thrace.
In the fifth year of their marriage, Procne asked her husband to go to Athens and bring Philomela back, as the two sisters hadn't seen each other for a long time. Tereus agreed and went to Athens, where Pandion I told Tereus to take care of her as if he were her father. However, on the way back to Thrace, Tereus gave in to his lust for Philomela and raped her. He then threatened her not to say anything to her sister, but Philomela was defiant, angering him. So, he cut off her tongue and abandoned her. When he returned to Thrace, he told Procne that Philomela had died.
Philomela, however, although unable to speak, managed to weave the crime onto a tapestry and brought it to her sister. When Procne found out what had happened, she killed her son Itys, boiled him, and served him to Tereus. Unaware, Tereus ate the meal, and he only found out when Procne and Philomela presented the severed head of Itys to him. Tereus grabbed an axe and started chasing the two sisters, who fled and started praying to the gods. The gods answered their prayers and turned all three of them into birds; Procne into a swallow, Philomela into a nightingale, and Tereus into a hoopoe.