The phrase 'to open Pandora's box' has become synonymous with human downfall, the point of no return, where inexplicable troubles are unleashed. However, its origins are rooted within Ancient Greek mythology, where instead of a box, it was an entirely different receptacle that was employed to contain all evils.
In the artist's own words;
"The story of Pandora was first written about by the Ancient Greek poet Hesiod who was active between 750 and 650 BC, about the same time as Homer. In his version, Pandora comes with a type of jar, or Pithos in Ancient Greek. This would have been a tall ceramic storage vessel, up to about 3 foot tall, with a lid. These were used to store oil or wine. So not a box, or Pyxis in Ancient Greek. The idea of the box is actually due to a mistranslation by Erasmus in the 1600’s.
So according to Hesiod, the Titan Prometheus stole fire from the gods of Mount Olympus and gave it as a gift to humans. This so angered Zeus, the king of the gods that he decided to punish men by giving them the gift of evil to compensate for the improvement in their lives that fire brought. Zeus ordered that the first woman be moulded from the earth to create a ‘beautiful evil’ whose deadly descendants would torment the race of men. She was called Pandora, or All Gift, and with her came a jar which contained ‘countless plagues’ gifted to men by all the gods of Olympus. Prometheus was subjected to a hideous punishment, but he managed to warn his brother Epithemius not to accept any gifts from Zeus. However, Epithemius didn’t listen and accepted the gift of Pandora anyway.
Men had been living carefree lives until Pandora lifted the lid of the jar and released all evils upon them. But to me the most depressing part of the story is that the jar had also contained ‘Hope’ but this was left inside, caught under the lip of the jar."
These artworks were featured in the exhibition Not Black or White at SoShiro Gallery London.
The artist can also create pieces to commission, please contact the gallery for further information.