Hestia's Flame Picture

Equipment: Canon Rebel TI

Model(s): Elizabeth

Shoot: This was the second picture shot but the first finished. The shot was taken in my mother's living room as she has a working fireplace. She allowed my to cover the floor in hay and thrush, and I shot this from the couch. The back wall is from the Anderson Library at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, and the thrush was extended in post, as well as coloring the bricks and mortar.
I had the idea for this shot from the beginning. I wanted to capture the wide-spread influence she had in Greek culture. I was going for the idea of her being in every heart of every home, guarding the fire and bringing peace to the dwelling. Working fireplaces are difficult to find, anymore, but my mother still has one. It was just a matter of removing everything from it, covering the carpet with hay, and lighting a fire in August.

Myth: Hestia was a sister of Zeus, and played absolutely no role in mythology in any way whatsoever, at all. She never appeared in any myths or poems, but she was singularly important in the culture. Hestia was the blessing spirit of the home, symbolized by the hearth. Not only did every home have a hearth dedicated to her, but every Greek city had in its square a vessel that held a burning flame in her honor, a flame that was never allowed to go out. If any people from that town left to build another town elsewhere, a torch was carried bearing the fire from the vessel to the new town, where a new eternal flame would be erected. Many prayers were offered up to her, and it was a general consensus that she was the goddess of the flame, as well as the hearth itself. Most depictions of her involve fire in one aspect or another.
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