‘Courage’ is normally depicted as a woman sometimes in armour calmly holding the jaws of a lion. According to Nietsche, courage is what is needed for man to free himself from a master/slave morality & to follow one's own unique path. It is how we go into this world in pursuit of that which is for the common good, of nature and environment.

With my depiction and the headline ‘Cats Cause Covid’ triggering the fearful reaction of 'Courage', I try to question the endless feed of often hegemonic headlines , the constant debate of "Fake News" and the persistent fear that has infiltrated and influenced our way of life.

A self-portrait photograph of a modern interpretation of the cardinal virtue Courage with cats.



One of the 4 cardinal virtues also found in the Tarot is ‘Temperance’ and was considered by Plato to be the most important virtue. Temperance signifies an equilibrium and moderation, a balance in all things and a being in harmony with both the inner and outer world. The pouring of water equally between two cups symbolises the alchemy & flow of life itself. In a sense it could be seen as a being rather than a doing, as an intemperate person always needs to be doing something.

Unfortunately the state of intemperance is increasingly the state of the world today. A culture of constantly doing, constantly distracted and constantly focused on outside excesses.
Using Marie Antoinette as inspiration I decided to depict a distracted ‘Temperance’ surrounded by the excesses of modern society, her cup overflowing with champagne while she mindlessly peers into her phone, disconnected from reality. Unknowingly, I created this jaded self-portrait on the day the news came in of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, a strange echo of history & the French revolution. 
A self-portrait photograph of a modern interpretation of the cardinal virtue Temperance depicted as Marie Antoinette.


The third of the cardinal virtues, ‘Prudence’, visible in the Tarot as 'The Hermit', represents wisdom in self-reflection and inner-sight, and is often depicted with a mirror and a snake to represent this.

Prudence is representative of the true seeker, of doing the inner work and embracing the true silence and loneliness that comes with this work. For only once we really see within ourselves and become self-aware, can we start being fully present in this balance between the inner and outer realms. Only then can we see things for how they really are, only then can we find truth.
For this representation of ‘Prudence’, shot in the first weeks of the Russian
invasion of Ukraine, her mirror and her snake hang forgotten by her side as she
obsessively doomscrolls in dark isolation from one headline to another.
A self-portrait photograph of a modern interpretation of the cardinal virtue Prudence who is distracted by the media.



The last of the 4 cardinal virtues ‘Justice’ is most often depicted holding a sword of action & truth, scales and blindfolds to represent impartiality. In ancient Egyptian mythology Justice was represented by the goddess Ma'at who weighed the hearts of the deeds of the dead against a single feather upon their arrival in the underworld. Justice has taken a variety of names throughout the ages some being Dike or Astraea in Greek mythology. In the story of Astraea, she lived on earth amongst humanity but left for the heavens due to her disappointment at the wickedness of the human race. According to this myth, she will one day return to Earth bringing forth the return of the Golden Age. It wasn't until the 16th century that Justice started being depicted as blindfolded to suggest justice be applied without regard to wealth, power or any other status that may affect true judgement.

This version of ‘Justice’, created in March 2022, questions our system’s and humanity's capability of ensuring ‘Justice’, the corruptibility of power and comments on our abuse of our planet’s ever declining resources. 
A self-portrait photograph of a modern interpretation of the cardinal virtue Justice set amongst the ruins and corruption of our environment and society.
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