LC: ACG - John S. Bailey Library, Office of ACG Art Curator, JSB109
CM: Ellie Griva explained the present picture represents herself, swimming through time Wolvewards - with an aim to meet the Wolves. The picture is characterized by an unparalleled force of motion. The background's black color represents time, which envelopes all. The woman's body in all her essence - beauty and perfume - makes way for the Wolves, who lurk across to devour her with their sharp teeth. Griva is inspired by the following poem of the well known Sufi of Persia, Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273): "My beloved looked at me with compassion and said: How can you live without me? And I answered: I promise like the fish outside the water. Then how can you be so attached to the dry land?" The painter inscribed the entire poem on the canvas, but - though large part of it was preserved - a significant portion was covered under the picture. Rumi wrote the Beloved with capital initial 'b', to denote God. In essence, the poetry at issue is erotic, and God is only the excuse in the place of the lover. Griva considers that Wolves represent the other half of ourselves, that which we miss by our nature and which we make our target to discover. "It is that which will allow me to become a woman in an absolute degree, to experience the feeling of my female essence." The encounter of the woman and the wolves will be 'carmic', and -as such- will yield a total replenishment for both parties. Life is but a dialogue, which is impossible to produce on one's own. In order to recognize our identity, that 'other' is required, which makes us complete. "In order for me to become a woman I need to rely on a man, who is conscious of his male essence." Griva deals with sexuality as the vehicle that brings us closer to ourselves, because pleasure is an amazing motive of self knowledge, if one wishes to use it thus, and because our essential encounter with the 'other' is a never ending source of wisdom. "In order for me to be as sensitive as I like, I must be strong." Griva is attracted by the Wolves, as much for their physical beauty as for their threatening power. She is attracted to the idea that the Wolves combine from their very nature contradictory behaviors. On the one hand they take care of their pack as chiefs, while on the other they frequently desert it out of an innate need for escape and solitude. With such nature, the Wolves represent the free man. For Griva herself, the Wolves represent the ideal masculine essence, which is missing in female nature, and which she is in need in order to complete her being. As a matter of fact, for the painter life perpetuates an anxiety - if during our lifetime we may meet those Wolves who are close to that which we imagine.