I shall be using this page as a sketchbook to collect my ideas and thoughts on a project I’d like to explore.
I have included my previous projects research so that the continuation project makes better sense, as well as holds all of the information I’ve collected and created.
The reason that I wish to explore this subject area is because I have previously explored this field, and wish to continue exploring as I believe that there is much more to experiment with and I have only scratched the surface with my previous project. Hopefully I shall discover the riches that lay beneath.
My objective for this project is to design and create a series of sculptures that represent the embodyment of the seven deadly sins, to be publically displayed. I previously built only a small number of these using blu-tack on a small scale, therefore I wish to built them on a larger scale, as well as explore the use of a variety of materials such as wood, metal and plaster paris.
Origins of the Seven Deadly Sins
In Christian tradition, sins with the most serious impact on spiritual development were classified as “deadly sins.” Christian theologians developed different lists of the most serious sins. John Cassian offered one of the first lists with eight: gluttony, fornication, avarice, anger, dejection (tristitia), sloth (accedia), vainglory and pride. Gregory the Great created the definitive list of seven: pride, envy, anger, dejection, avarice, gluttony and lust. Each of deadly (capital) sin comes with related, minor sins and are contrasted with seven cardinal and contrary virtues.
Deadly Sin of Pride: Pride (Vanity), is excessive belief in one’s abilities, such that you don’t give credit to God. Aquinas argued that all other sins stem from Pride, so critiques of the Christian notion of sin generally should start here: “inordinate self-love is the cause of every sin…the root of pride is found to consist in man not being, in some way, subject to God and His rule.” Among the problems with Christian teaching against pride is that it encourages people to be submissive to religious authorities in order to submit to God, thus enhancing institutional church power. We can contrast this with Aristotle’s description of pride, or respect for oneself, as the greatest of all virtues. Rational pride makes a person harder to rule and dominate.
Deadly Sin of Envy: Envy is a desire to possess what others have, whether material objects (like cars) or character traits, like a positive outlook or patience. Making envy a sin encourages Christians to be satisfied with what they have rather than object to others’ unjust power or seek to gain what others have.
Deadly Sin of Gluttony: Gluttony is usually associated with eating too much, but it has a broader connotation of trying to consume more of anything than you actually need, food included. Teaching that gluttony is a sin is a good way to encourage those with very little to not want more and to be content with how little they are able to consume, since more would be sinful.
Deadly Sin of Lust: Lust is the desire to experience physical, sensual pleasures (not just those which are sexual), causing us to ignore more important spiritual needs or commandments. The popularity of this sin is revealed by how more gets written in condemnation of it than for just about any other sin. Condemning lust and physical pleasure is part of Christianity’s general effort to promote the afterlife over this life and what it has to offer.
Deadly Sin of Anger: Anger (Wrath) is the sin of rejecting the Love and Patience we should feel for others and opting instead for violent or hateful interaction. Many Christian acts over the centuries (like the Inquisition and Crusades) may seem to have motivated by anger, not love, but were excused by saying the motivation was love of God, or love of a person’s soul — so much love that it was necessary to harm others physically. Condemnation of anger as a sin is useful to suppress efforts to correct injustice, especially the injustices of religious authorities.
Deadly Sin of Greed: Greed (Avarice) is a desire for material gain. Similar to Gluttony and Envy, gain rather than consumption or possession is key here. Religious authorities too rarely condemn how the rich possess much while the poor possess little — great wealth has often been justified by claiming that it’s what God wants for a person. Condemning greed keeps the poor in their place, though, and prevents them from wanting to have more.
Deadly Sin of Sloth: Sloth is the most misunderstood of the Seven Deadly Sins. Often regarded as laziness, it is more accurately translated as apathy: when a person is apathetic, they no longer care about their duty to God and ignore their spiritual well-being. Condemning sloth is a way to keep people active in the church in case they start to realize how useless religion and theism really are.
According to Sacred Origins of Profound Things, by Charles Panati, Greek monastic theologian Evagrius of Pontus first drew up a list of eight offenses and wicked human passions:. They were, in order of increasing seriousness: gluttony, lust, avarice, sadness, anger, acedia, vainglory, and pride. Evagrius saw the escalating severity as representing increasing fixation with the self, with pride as the most egregious of the sins. Acedia (from the Greek “akedia,” or “not to care”) denoted “spiritual sloth.”
In the late 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great reduced the list to seven items, folding vainglory into pride, acedia into sadness, and adding envy. His ranking of the Sins’ seriousness was based on the degree from which they offended against love. It was, from most serious to least: pride, envy, anger, sadness, avarice, gluttony, and lust. Later theologians, including St. Thomas Aquinas, would contradict the notion that the seriousness of the sins could be ranked in this way. The term “covetousness” has historically been used interchangeably with “avarice” in accounts of the Deadly Sins. In the seventeenth century, the Church replaced the vague sin of “sadness” with sloth.
Throughout the Middle Ages, Church hierarchy emphasized teaching all lay people the Deadly Sins and Heavenly Virtues. Other spiritual manuals embellished on this tradition. Gerson presents a list of Contrary Virtues in his ABC des simples gens, which was derived from the Psychomatica, or Battle for the Soul, a fifth-century epic poem by Prudentius. He believed these virtues would help counteract temptation toward the Deadly Sins.
According to The Picture Book of Devils, Demons and Witchcraft, by Ernst and Johanna Lehner, each of the Sins was associated with a specific punishment in Hell. I once saw a set of 16th-century engravings by George Pencz that used animals in their depictions of the Sins. The prints also used women to symbolize all the Sins, which was probably okay in the sociopolitical climate of the 16th century but probably wouldn’t be encouraged nowadays.
The Divine Comedy (Italian: la Divina Commedia) is an epic poem written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321. It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem’s imaginative and allegorical vision of the afterlife is a culmination of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church. It helped establish the Tuscan dialect in which it is written as the standardized Italian. It is divided into three parts, the Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.
On the surface the poem describes Dante’s travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven; but at a deeper level it represents allegorically the soul’s journey towards God. At this deeper level, Dante draws on medieval Christian theology and philosophy, especially the writings of Thomas Aquinas.
The work was originally simply titled Commedia and was later christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio. The first printed edition to add the word divine to the title was that of the Venetian humanist Lodovico Dolce, published in 1555 by Gabriele Giolito de’ Ferrari.
An extract from “The Divine Comedy”
Poetry of Dante Alighieri
The Divine Comedy – Inferno
I. The Dark Forest. The Hill of Difficulty. The Panther, the Lion, and the Wolf. Virgil.
Inferno: Canto I
Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
Which in the very thought renews the fear.
So bitter is it, death is little more;
But of the good to treat, which there I found,
Speak will I of the other things I saw there.
I cannot well repeat how there I entered,
So full was I of slumber at the moment
In which I had abandoned the true way.
But after I had reached a mountain’s foot,
At that point where the valley terminated,
Which had with consternation pierced my heart,
Upward I looked, and I beheld its shoulders,
Vested already with that planet’s rays
Which leadeth others right by every road.
Then was the fear a little quieted
That in my heart’s lake had endured throughout
The night, which I had passed so piteously.
And even as he, who, with distressful breath,
Forth issued from the sea upon the shore,
Turns to the water perilous and gazes;
So did my soul, that still was fleeing onward,
Turn itself back to re-behold the pass
Which never yet a living person left.
After my weary body I had rested,
The way resumed I on the desert slope,
So that the firm foot ever was the lower.
And lo! almost where the ascent began,
A panther light and swift exceedingly,
Which with a spotted skin was covered o’er!
And never moved she from before my face,
Nay, rather did impede so much my way,
That many times I to return had turned.
The time was the beginning of the morning,
And up the sun was mounting with those stars
That with him were, what time the Love Divine
At first in motion set those beauteous things;
So were to me occasion of good hope,
The variegated skin of that wild beast,
The hour of time, and the delicious season;
But not so much, that did not give me fear
A lion’s aspect which appeared to me.
He seemed as if against me he were coming
With head uplifted, and with ravenous hunger,
So that it seemed the air was afraid of him;
And a she-wolf, that with all hungerings
Seemed to be laden in her meagreness,
And many folk has caused to live forlorn!
She brought upon me so much heaviness,
With the affright that from her aspect came,
That I the hope relinquished of the height.
And as he is who willingly acquires,
And the time comes that causes him to lose,
Who weeps in all his thoughts and is despondent,
E’en such made me that beast withouten peace,
Which, coming on against me by degrees
Thrust me back thither where the sun is silent.
While I was rushing downward to the lowland,
Before mine eyes did one present himself,
Who seemed from long-continued silence hoarse.
When I beheld him in the desert vast,
“Have pity on me,” unto him I cried,
“Whiche’er thou art, or shade or real man!”
He answered me: “Not man; man once I was,
And both my parents were of Lombardy,
And Mantuans by country both of them.
‘Sub Julio’ was I born, though it was late,
And lived at Rome under the good Augustus,
During the time of false and lying gods.
A poet was I, and I sang that just
Son of Anchises, who came forth from Troy,
After that Ilion the superb was burned.
But thou, why goest thou back to such annoyance?
Why climb’st thou not the Mount Delectable,
Which is the source and cause of every joy?”
“Now, art thou that Virgilius and that fountain
Which spreads abroad so wide a river of speech?”
I made response to him with bashful forehead.
“O, of the other poets honour and light,
Avail me the long study and great love
That have impelled me to explore thy volume!
Thou art my master, and my author thou,
Thou art alone the one from whom I took
The beautiful style that has done honour to me.
Behold the beast, for which I have turned back;
Do thou protect me from her, famous Sage,
For she doth make my veins and pulses tremble.”
“Thee it behoves to take another road,”
Responded he, when he beheld me weeping,
“If from this savage place thou wouldst escape;
Because this beast, at which thou criest out,
Suffers not any one to pass her way,
But so doth harass him, that she destroys him;
And has a nature so malign and ruthless,
That never doth she glut her greedy will,
And after food is hungrier than before.
Many the animals with whom she weds,
And more they shall be still, until the Greyhound
Comes, who shall make her perish in her pain.
He shall not feed on either earth or pelf,
But upon wisdom, and on love and virtue;
‘Twixt Feltro and Feltro shall his nation be;
Of that low Italy shall he be the saviour,
On whose account the maid Camilla died,
Euryalus, Turnus, Nisus, of their wounds;
Through every city shall he hunt her down,
Until he shall have driven her back to Hell,
There from whence envy first did let her loose.
Therefore I think and judge it for thy best
Thou follow me, and I will be thy guide,
And lead thee hence through the eternal place,
Where thou shalt hear the desperate lamentations,
Shalt see the ancient spirits disconsolate,
Who cry out each one for the second death;
And thou shalt see those who contented are
Within the fire, because they hope to come,
Whene’er it may be, to the blessed people;
To whom, then, if thou wishest to ascend,
A soul shall be for that than I more worthy;
With her at my departure I will leave thee;
Because that Emperor, who reigns above,
In that I was rebellious to his law,
Wills that through me none come into his city.
He governs everywhere, and there he reigns;
There is his city and his lofty throne;
O happy he whom thereto he elects!”
And I to him: “Poet, I thee entreat,
By that same God whom thou didst never know,
So that I may escape this woe and worse,
Thou wouldst conduct me there where thou hast said,
That I may see the portal of Saint Peter,
And those thou makest so disconsolate.”
Then he moved on, and I behind him followed.
Films and Media:
Wrath, Pride, Envy Greed, Lust, Sloth and gluttony can serve as a great backdrop for a movie’s plot. Most memorable movie characters are sinful in some way, but in this list, they’ve taken it to the next level, with hilarious or disturbing results.
Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) was a renowned composer, well-liked and admired…until the arrival of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce). Younger, crazier, and much more talented, Mozart brings his arias to life as Salieri goes from wonderous jealousy (“He was my idol. Mozart, I can’t think of a time when I didn’t know his name.”) to murderous envy (“God was singing through this little man to all the world, unstoppable, making my defeat more bitter with every passing bar.”) Salieri goes on to literally wage war against God, vowing to destroy Mozart in a macabre plan that ends in death and madness.
Fatal Attraction (1987)
What’s the harm in a little affair? Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) is enough to change anyone’s mind about straying, even for a night. After a night of passion with Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas), her flirtations become demands, and soon her insanity becomes alarmingly clear. Acid, a homemade cassette tape, and a bunny are used as weapons against a man who has made a horrible mistake, one that ultimately involves his family in a disturbing climax.
Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003), Vol. 2 (2004)
Revenge is a common theme for movies, especially action films, but one that involves a strong-as-nails woman (and other such women) directed by Quentin Tarantino is bound to be the most memorable. Uma Thurman is The Bride, a female assassin who abandoned her violent life in an attempt to lead a normal one. After a violent showdown involving her former co-assassins and her fiance and new friends and family, she vows revenge on the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and its leader, Bill. One by one she hunts them down as her past (and the pasts of the Vipers) comes to life, and her redemption ends with an unexpected surprise.
Wall Street (1987)
“Greed is good”. One quote sums up the movie that involves characters that discard ethics as if they were used tissues. In order to succeed as a young stockbroker, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) gives up insider information and in effect sells his soul to Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas Wall Street is a warning for anyone who would do anything to make it big.
Office Space (1999)
What would you do with a million dollars? What’s your dream job? If you would do absolutely nothing all day, you can sympathize with Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston), who hates his boring office job so much that he sees a therapist to dull his pain. By a freak accident during his session he’s overcured, and is in a blissful daze that causes him to forget his cares and ignore his boss’s demands.
During his dream day he literally does nothing all day, remaining wrapped in his sheets and sleeping while his boss leaves numerous messages on his machine. His lack of cares goes from blatantly playing games in front of his boss while he’s supposed to be working to crime. Anyone who’s ever hated their job or daydreamed about sleeping all day while toiling away at work will appreciate Peter’s slothful behavior…though as his neighbor Lawrence (Diedrich Bader) points out, “You don’t need a million dollars to do nothing, man.”
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) ; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Both adaptations of Ronald Dahl’s classic children’s book have something in common; an odd man running a fantastic candy factory, and gluttonous children eager to devour the goods the factory produces. Each child is punished in strange ways for their wicked ways, whether it’s becoming a large blueberry, being nearly drowned in a sea of chocolate, or tossed down a chute. It’s a whimsical version of Dante’s Inferno. While the story is amusing and fun, the punishments seem severe, but everyone in Willy Wonka’s factory gets their just desserts. An endless appetite for sweets can only lead to doom, as the book includes the story of a prince who demanded a castle built out of chocolate which melted into a pool of sweet goo in the hot desert sun.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
You’d be hard pressed to find a character as proud and self-centered as Scarlett O’Hara. Vivien Leigh brings her to life in the cinematic classic Gone with the Wind as a stubborn woman obsessed with a married man, who enjoys being doted on and ignores the affections of her husband. Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) finally gives up on this impossible woman with the famous line “Frankly my dear…” and the audience can’t blame him one bit. In fact, we wonder why he didn’t get rid of her sooner.
All these movies showcase the seven deadly sins in memorable ways, bringing the evil to life in fascinating characters. They represent the wickedness these sins can bring in their own devious way.
And of course, there’s always Se7en.
A film about two homicide detectives’ desperate hunt for a serial killer who justifies his crimes as absolution for the world’s ignorance of the Seven Deadly Sins. The movie takes us from the tortured remains of one victim to the next as the sociopathic “John Doe” sermonizes to Detectives Sommerset and Mills — one sin at a time. The sin of Gluttony comes first and the murderer’s terrible capacity is graphically demonstrated in the dark and subdued tones characteristic of film noir. The seasoned and cultured Sommerset researches the Seven Deadly Sins in an effort to understand the killer’s modus operandi while green Detective Mills scoffs at his efforts to get inside the mind of a killer…
This thriller portrays the exploits of a deranged serial-killer. His twisted agenda involves choosing seven victims who represent egregious examples of transgressions of each of the Seven Deadly Sins. He then views himself as akin to the Sword of God, handing out horrific punishment to these sinners.
Modroc is a gauze bandage impregnated with Plaster of Paris. It is used as a sculpting material,and is used like clay, as it is easily shaped when wet, yet sets into a resilient and lightweight structure.
Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is an engineered wood product formed by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibers, often in a defibrator, combining it with wax and a resin binder, and forming panels by applying high temperature and pressure.[
Chicken wire, or poultry netting, is a mesh of wire commonly used to fence poultry livestock. It is made of thin, flexible galvanized wire, with hexagonal gaps. Available in 1 inch (about 2.5 cm) diameter, 2 inch (about 5 cm) and 1/2 inch (about 1.3 cm), chicken wire is available in various wire gauges usually 19 gauge (about 1 mm wire) to 22 gauge (about 0.7 mm wire).
Foam core or Foam board is a very strong, lightweight and easily cut material used for the mounting of photographic prints, as backing in picture framing, in 3D design, and in painting. It is also in a material category referred to as “Paper-faced Foam Board”. It consists of three layers — an inner layer of polystyrene clad with outer facing of either a white claycoated paper or brown Kraft paper.
Aerosol paint (also called spray paint) is a type of paint that comes in a sealed pressurized container and is released in a fine spray mist when depressing a valve button. A form of spray painting, aerosol paint leaves a smooth, evenly coated surface, unlike many rolled or brushed paints. Standard sized cans are portable, inexpensive and easy to store. Aerosol primer can be applied directly to bare metal and many plastics
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. We may also consider the digital mimicry thereof. It is most commonly used to protect, color or provide texture to objects.
Polyvinyl acetate, PVA, PVAc, poly(ethenyl ethanoate), is a rubbery synthetic polymer with the formula (C4H6O2)n. It belongs to the polyvinyl esters family with the general formula -[RCOOCHCH2]-. It is a type of thermoplastic.
Polyvinyl acetate is a component of a widely-used type of glue, referred to variously as wood glue, white glue, carpenter’s glue, school glue or PVA glue.
A grain filler or paste wood filler is a woodworking product that is used to achieve a smooth-textured wood finish by filling pores in the wood grain. It is used particularly on open grained woods such as oak, mahogany and walnut where building up multiple layers of standard wood finish is ineffective or impractical.
Particle board, or particleboard (or chipboard in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and some other countries), is an engineered wood product manufactured from wood particles, such as wood chips, sawmill shavings, or even saw dust, and a synthetic resin or other suitable binder, which is pressed and extruded. Particleboard is a composite material.
Gormley’s work has revivified the way in which the human form is appropriated. Frequently using his own body as the subject of his work, Gormley’s innovative use of the body, as a vessel for memory and transformation, explores the collective body and the relationship between self and other. His investigation into the human condition has been realised in highly acclaimed large-scale installations such as Critical Mass (1995), Allotment (1997), Inside Australia (2002), Domain Field (2003), Another Place (2005), and Blind Light (2007).
Celebrated internationally, Gormley has had solo and group exhibitions in Europe, Scandinavia, America, Japan and Australia. His sculptures have been acquired by many public and private collections around the world. In 1994 he was awarded the Turner Prize and in 1999 he won the South Bank Prize for Visual Art. In 1997 Gormley was made an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to sculpture and in 2003 he became a Royal Academician. In 2007 he was awarded the Bernhard Heiliger Award for Sculpture. He continues to fulfil his roles as an Honorary Fellow at the Royal Institute of British Architects; Trinity College, Cambridge and Jesus College, Cambridge, and his trustee positions at the British Museum and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.
<a href="Antony Gormley was born in London in 1950. After schooling at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, he went on to complete a degree in Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Art at Trinity College, Cambridge, between the years of 1968-71. Following his graduation, Gormley travelled to India and Sri Lanka to study Buddhism for three years. On his return to London, in 1974, he attended Central School of Art and Goldsmith's College before completing a postgraduate course in sculpture at Slade School of Art between 1977 and 1979." title="Antony Gormley was born in London in 1950. After schooling at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, he went on to complete a degree in Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Art at Trinity College, Cambridge, between the years of 1968-71. Following his graduation, Gormley travelled to India and Sri Lanka to study Buddhism for three years. On his return to London, in 1974, he attended Central School of Art and Goldsmith's College before completing a postgraduate course in sculpture at Slade School of Art between 1977 and 1979.