Hyacinth was a favorite of the gods, but most favored by Apollo and Zephyrus. One day, Zephyrus, the West Wind, caught Apollo, the sun god, and Hyacinth playing discus in the field. In his jealousy, he cast a stray wind at the pair. It caused Apollo’s discus to fly astray, killing the young mortal. In his grief, Apollo turned Hyacinth into the blood-red flower we know today.
The set is mixed media: paper collage, oil and ink paints, marker, and metal foil on canvas. Paper motifs and maps are used to underscore a sense of place, incorporating a variety of contemporary global patterns reflective of the diverse and segmented cultures of Los Angeles, California, and the larger United States.
“The Hyacinth Triptych is about recognizing your essential parts. I wanted the fragmented bodies to be rich and textured, like our own complex sense of self, but reflective of the characters from the tragic story: innocence, boldness, jealousy. They are a celebration of our wholeness of being, asking us to accept the “good” and “bad” within our essential selves.” — Artist K Ryan Henisey