Krewe’s Newest Signature Float Fuses 19th Century Artisanal Techniques with 21st Century Technology
The Krewe of Muses will roll Thursday, February 8, 2018 with its newest signature float “The Goddessey.” The Goddessey, in float position #1, sets the stage for the magnificent parade to follow.
The Goddessey combines the word “goddess” with the title of Homer’s epic, the Odyssey, in a splendid float that fuses 19th century artisanal techniques and 21st century technology.
Muses Captain Staci Rosenberg and Barry Kern of Kern Studios unveiled the float at the Kern Studios Den. The float design was a collaboration between Krewe member Susan Gisleson and Blaine Kern Artists’ Skip Stander.
“It is a breathtaking work of art that breaks the mold of the traditional Mardi Gras float and harkens back to the golden age of carnival,” said Muses Captain Rosenberg.
An asymmetrical vessel, using 23-karat gold leaf, mirrored mosaic, silk lanterns and color-changing LED, the Goddessey depicts the birthplace of the nine muses and illuminates their attributes. The float is a tribute to the Krewe’s namesake goddesses, the Muses, and their history and inspiration. In the Odyssey, Homer calls upon the nine Muses – goddesses of literature, the arts, and the sciences – for inspiration and assistance in telling the story of Odysseus’ adventures during his sea voyage.
“Like Odysseus’ boat, the Goddessey is a vessel – a vehicle, which is both a means of exploration and pursuit, and a method of transport between the real-world streets of New Orleans and the mythical land that is Mardi Gras,” said float designer and Krewe member Susan Gisleson.
- The Goddessey is led by the Muses’ beloved winged stallion Pegasus, with a 25-foot wingspan, hand covered in 23-karat gold leaf. As in myth, on the Goddessey, Pegasus leads the way for the Muses. Pegasus’ hooves created the four sacred springs on Mount Helicon, the home of the Muses and of Pegasus, as portrayed on the back of our float.
- The Goddessey includes a waterfall, depicting the springs on Mount Helicon in the form of a mosaic made of actual mirror that will show parade goers their own images.
- The Muses are patrons of the arts and sciences, inspiration and knowledge. A symbol of inspiration is light and this float radiates light to enlighten the crowd.
- The Goddessey’s central motif is a monumental handcrafted rose gold tree bearing 130 silk peach lanterns, illuminated from within. Like all gods, the Muses were often present in groves of trees – groves in which artists found inspiration. Our peaches represent the immortality of art – art informed by knowledge.
- The Goddessey bears a glowing, color-changing frieze, created by artist Susan Gisleson, showing the Muses and their defining attributes in silhouette:
- Erato – Love Poetry (with an arrow)
Urania – Astronomy (the Muse in the Moon)
Two Muses Together – Clio- History (Book) Euterpe – Music (Instrument)
Thalia – Comedy (Ostrich!)
Calliope – Epic Poetry (Lamp of Knowledge)
Terpsichore – Dance (Banana Skirt)
Melpomene – Tragedy (Ivy, Seahorse)
Polyhymnia – Sacred Songs (Reading on a Branch- Feet Not Touching the Ground)
- The Goddessey’s other images include the seahorse, representing memory; the frog, representing fertility and metamorphosis; the snake, which is all-seeing; the bee, which transforms sunlight into honey; the butterfly, representing renewal; the birds that stir our imagination; mushrooms, representing magic; and ivy, our symbol as the Krewe of Muses.