Title Image

Mark Madden

Mark Madden

Hometown: Bennington, VT

Mark believes there is something mystical and magical about owls. Creating something out of a block of wood which people want to touch the feathers to see how soft they are or if they are real seems somewhat magical as well.


When working on recent carving of a barn owl on a celtic cross gravestone, I wanted to come up with a mystical and magical name for the name on the gravestone. I came up with Blodeuwedd. The Owl of Celtic Legend, the Ancient Bride of the Dead.


The Legend of Blodeuwedd.


The mythology figure Gwydion must help find a bride for his nephew Lleu, in order for him to become king. However there is a curse upon Lleu, that he may never take a human wife. Gwydion creates a woman out of flowers for him to become his wife. He names her Blodeuwedd which is said to mean “Flower Face.” The ancient name for the Owl. Unfortunately, Blodeuwedd falls in love with another and has a affair. She and her lover conspire to murder Lleu. The assassination attempt fails.


Gwydion then places a curse upon Blodeuwedd:


“I will not slay thee, but I will do unto thee worse than that. For I will turn thee into a bird; because of the shame thou hast done. Thou shalt never show thy face in the light of day; and the fear of you from all the other birds. For it shall be their nature to attack thee, and to chase thee from wheresoever they may find thee. Even now the owl is called Blodeuwedd.”


And this is why other birds mob the Owl when they find them out during the day.




Art at the Academy

window.wpbCustomElement = 1;