The Mystery of Craft: The Villa of the Mysteries Re-examined

July 8 to August 27, 2020

When disaster strikes how do we emerge? Six artists explore the Villa of the Mysteries at Pompeii. On August 24 79 AD Mount Vesuvius erupted leaving the city leveled and covered with volcanic ash. It was a disaster which left this ancient society permanently changed. Most famous of its remains is the beautiful and well- preserved room referred to as the Villa of the Mysteries. This 15-foot dining room painted with bright red frescoes tells the story of a group of women undergoing a ritual of initiation in honour of the Wine god Dionysus. Scholars tell us that this ritual would have had a profound affect on its participants rendering them emotionally and spiritually transformed. Viewed from this perspective the frescoes serve as a mirror image of our current reality as we emerge from COVID-19 asking profound questions about natural disaster, fear and loss and its transformative effect on our society. How will we emerge from our four-walled rooms once self isolation has become a thing of the past?