Asaroton (Unswept Floor)

The ground beneath my feet in much of Seville was strewn with fallen fruits, orange blossoms and leaves. Their image reminded me of the Roman mosaics or "Asaroton" deriving from a type known as 'the unswept floor' introduced by Sosus of Pergamum (c.150-100BC). The mosaics resemble a floor that has been covered in food after a banquet or a celebration; you can see fruit, figs, lobster claws, sea urchins and even a tiny mouse in the 'Asarotos oikos' mosaic which is housed in the Vatican. The objects are illuminated by multi-directional pools of light from imaginary candles giving the illusion of a real life scene which must have amused the Romans very much!

My floor has traces of red spilt across its surface. During the Semana Santa week processions of 'Brotherhoods' move slowly down the orange tree lined streets, the air was thick with the heady scent of orange blossom (azahres) mixed with clouds frankincense incense and candle wax from the huge 'Cirios' altar candles which are carried dispersing in their wake.
Late at night and early in the morning, before the City's streets are washed clean, the grey granite floors are coated in red wax from the processions and the oranges and their leaves scattered. An exhilarating experience leaving a lasting impression.

Oil, Indian ink and gesso on board in antique frame 73 cm w x 53 cm h unframed 89 cm w x 71 cm h framed