Psyche and the Lamp

Kyra Correa

March 25th, 2024

Major: Illustration

Genre/Medium: Edge-lit lamp. Laser cut & engraved acrylic, LED lights, and 3D printed PLA.

About the work: “Psyche and the Lamp” depicts a reimagining of the story of Psyche and Eros. The story goes that Eros, the god of love, accidentally falls in love with Psyche, a mortal woman, after being sent by his mother Aphrodite to make Psyche fall in love with something hideous. The two meet with each other often, but only under cover of night, as Eros doesn’t want Psyche to see that he’s a god. Of course, the curious Psyche eventually betrays Eros and looks upon him by the light of her lamp, unleashing a chain of events and trials that eventually lead to her becoming the goddess of the soul, united eternally with her lover Eros. Here, Eros is replaced with a spinning 16 Psyche, and instead of an act of betrayal, the soon-to-be goddess Psyche is engaging in an act of self-discovery. Psyche’s curiosity reflects the curiosity of humanity as a whole as we attempt to discover our own planet’s core—its soul, if you will—by exploring 16 Psyche, the possible core of a planetesimal.

“Psyche and the Lamp” references a wide variety of ancient Greek and Greek-inspired art. I 3D printed 16 Psyche with white filament to evoke the marble statuary of ancient Greece. The goddess Psyche’s pose is derived from Archaic and Classical-period vase paintings and from the pose of Psyche in John Wood’s Neoclassical painting “Psyche Enamored of Cupid.” She wears a short mantle called a himation and a shawl called an epiblēma over her chiton dress, which are garments found on many Archaic-period korai (female votive statues). Her cap, earring, and wavy hair are also elements found on some korai from the Athenian Acropolis. The rendering of her facial features is inspired by statuary from the Classical period. Finally, the folds on the bottom of her dress evoke the wings of a butterfly, her iconographic symbol.

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Date Added: 03-20-2024
Credit: Kyra Correa

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