This is a composition study drawing for a larger oil painting.
The human – non-human animal relationship is an overarching theme of my art practice. ‘Dionysus’ from the Deities Series explores the Greek Mythology of Dionysus, the god of vegetation, wine, and pleasure, and his sacred animal the Leopard. In the ancient world, humans were not just close to animals but, in most cases, deeply dependent on them. They were embedded in local culture and religion, often seen as gods, and sometimes fused with humans to unlock universal secrets beyond human limitations.
However, most religions have abandoned the concept of human-animal divinities in the modern world. Our Gods now are purely anthropomorphic. The leopard stepping down from the pedestal is a metaphor for the modern world and the breakdown in the relationship between humans, non-human animals, and nature.