The Owl Series

2022. All oil on canvas. 40 x 50cm. 50 x 60cm and 56 x 70cm


Remedios Varo’s painting The Creation of the Birds (1957)

The Owl Service by Alan Garner (1973)


The relationship between women and Owls as depicted in myth and legend intrigues me. Perhaps, as the log lady from Twin Peaks said, “the Owls are not what they seem”.

Owl Women In Myth and Legend

Owl Woman I: Lilith, first wife of Adam, moulded from the same clay and hence his equal. Her refusal to lie on her back (she wanted to be on top), amongst other things, condemned her to be branded as a succubus, child killer and screech-owl for all eternity.
Owl Woman II: Bloddeuwedd’s tale is told in the Mabinogion. Wife of Lleu Llaw Gyffes, conjured from flowers by magicians Math and Gwydion. “Flower face” was turned into an owl for convoluted wifely insurrection.
Owl Woman III: Pallas Athena was wife to no one. In a classical case of parthenogenesis, Athena, goddess of wisdom, military strategy and weaving, emerged fully formed out of her father’s forehead. Her father being Zeus. Her symbol an owl.