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Homer’s Iliad: A Visual Translation

Homer’s Iliad: A Visual Translation

Paintings by Merle Mainelli Poulton

January 12 – February 27, 2005
Opening reception: Wednesday, January 12, from 4:30-6:00 p.m.
This event is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.


     Artist Merle Mainelli Poulton weaves the epic that is Homer’s Iliad into a series of twenty-four works on paper, which will be on display at Guilford College Art Gallery, January 12-February 27, 2005.  Each painting represents one book of the epic poem, and the text itself is used as pictorial elements, such as line, texture and tone.  All 15,693 lines of the text are hand-scribed in this astounding collection, which works not as an illustration or a manuscript, but as a literal and visual translation. .

A reception for the artist will be held on January 12, from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in the Art Gallery, located in Hege Library on the Guilford campus.  The reception is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.  Guilford College Art Gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday afternoons from 2 to 5 p.m.  The Gallery will be closed January 17 for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

Book 14

“First written by Homer, between the 8th and 9th Century B.C., Poulton’s translation nearly three millennia later serves not only as a testament to the historical Greek epic, but also unveils the current of emotions underlying both historical and modern world events.  Power, Fear, Hatred, Envy, Compassion, Honor, Humility, Sleep, and Death are all characters of Homer’s Iliad that are revealed in Poulton’s moving series,” wrote Karen Southern during an exhibition of the Iliad series in Providence, Rhode Island.

Mainelli Poulton earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from The American University, and while a student there, attended the Academia di Belle Arti Pietro Vannucci in Perugia, Italy.  She was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honors from Pratt Institute.  She received a diploma from the Jewelry Institute of Providence, RI, and also attended Syracuse International School Abroad in Queens College, London.  She is a resident of Lincoln, Rhode Island.

David Newton, assistant professor of art at Guilford College, knew Poulton in Rhode Island, and is responsible for initiating her exhibition at Guilford.  Theresa Hammond, director and curator of the Art Gallery notes, “I am excited to introduce Poulton’s paintings to our students and viewers in this region. I find her paintings to be both beautifully realized and wonderfully compulsive.  The subject can be mined from a wide variety of academic disciplines, and I hope this exhibition may acquaint this literary masterpiece to a whole new generation.”

             Book 2