Wednesday, January 30, 2013

St. Andrew's Parade

Working on my painting, St. Andrew's Parade. Inspired by my readings of The Golden Legend, readings on the saints, by Jacobus de Voragine. Saint Andrew was purported to drive seven demons in the shape of dogs out of Nicaea, but then when he came to the next town, the dogs had killed a young man and he was about to be buried. St. Andrew raised that man from the dead.

 At Stratton in Cornwall, on St. Andrew's Day, the youth would parade through town blowing unmelodious horns and strumming tin pans to drive out evil spirits. The handbell ringers follow to invite better, gentler spirits. (From The Dictionary of Faiths and Folklore. Beliefs, Superstitions and Popular Customs compiled by W.C. Hazlett) There is a pretty 12th century Norman church dedicated to St. Andrew there.

 St Andrew is invoked to ward off wolves, the enemy of travelers, who are thought to be able to speak to humans on St. Andrew's Eve (Nov 29). A human hearing a wolf speak to him will die. I've used these ideas in the painting, mixing the sacred and profane, the superstitious traditions, the magical and the divine. Here is my St. Andrew's Day parade that is agitating the seven dogs. Maybe demons. Maybe just dogs baying along to the cacophony on the itinerant band.

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