"Beyond the Iron Gate" (48" x 48") A commission piece I recently created for Cellardoor Winery here on the mid coast of Maine.
The creation of wine and art are two of the oldest human/cultural expressive endeavors and so the idea of an artist label series by Cellardoor is a perfect partnership of creativity. As an artist and lover of history, archeology, and ancient cosmology, my work is inspired by meaning and symbolism. Creating this work for Cellardoor was the perfect opportunity to immerse the ancient symbols of our world to express the many thoughts, processes, and efforts which brought this wine to fruition.
The Iron Gate I am depicting leads to an other-worldly realm of experience. The divine realm is historically and mythologically represented by a circle; a square represents the physical realm. The primary symbol of the iron gate is the great circle, while at the base of the fence and gate is a pattern of squares expressing the lower world of our physical realm. At the top of the fence and gate is a pattern of circles inside each square, depicting the gate as the meeting of the two realms. There are three iron bars on each side of the gate itself, indicating this is the third vintage of the Iron Gate label. The Fleur-de-lis atop the innermost bars references the Vintner’s French inspiration in this selection. In the painting, grape vines grow upon the iron fencing on the left... (the left is the receiving or feminine side in mythology), given most fruit bearing trees and plants are seen as a feminine element of creation; thus, the fruit of the grapes is received from the divine realm through the feminine. On the right, behind the iron fence grows a large strong oak. Young oak wood is an essential element in this wine's creation process, since the wine is aged in young oak wood casks; the boldness of the oak is instilled within the wines deep flavoring. The oak is on the right, as it is projective masculine and also a symbol of nobility in mythology. At the top center is seen the wandering grape vine reaching across to symbolically touch the extended branch and leaves of the oak, complimenting the harmony between masculine and feminine in this wine creation. The gate is partially open (modestly on the feminine left and more boldly on the masculine right). Also, the entry path narrows indicating an inviting, yet reserved or selective entry into the realm of experience which is beyond. Strength, beauty, and an uncommon experience are what this work endeavored to capture.
This was without question an exciting, memorable and adventurous experience, I am more than grateful to owner Bettina Doulton and everyone at Cellardoor Winery for their assistance and inspiration in this opportunity for artistic expression.
Cheers, Don Rainville
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