The Bacchae Project


The Bacchae Project

This project aims to understand, explore and possibly reinterpret through contemporary visual art a thematic of Euripides ‘The Bacchae’. The intention is first to read Euripides, explore notions of the nature and character of Dionysus and his character traits as may be perceived in contemporary society. I aim to examine modernity’s fascination with the myth of Dionysus by focusing on questions of: agency, identity, community, psychological integrity and modern constitution of the self.  


Utilising painting (oils on canvas. 120x100cm), preliminary and explorative drawings, 3D masks and writing as mediums in the execution of the body of work. Artistic creation depends on a tension between two opposing forces, which Nietzsche terms the “Apollonian” and the “Dionysian,” although I will be focusing primarily on the creativity of the Dionysian tension.


Having begun the task whilst in Cyprus at the Cornaro Art Institute, the work is all still in-progress. The images supplied include paintings, explorative and preliminary drawings. The first exhibition at Elements Gallery, Larnaka. Cyprus, 2018.

“Through abstraction Demetris Tsouris skilfully depicts the opposite sides of human nature based on Euripides play “The Bacchae”. The rational and the instinctual aspects of human nature are represented with strong contrasting colours, shapes and forms, enticing the viewer to question universal themes such as, individuality vs. collectivism, self-indulgence vs. prudence, sexuality vs. spirituality, and the overall human condition as experienced in the material world”.

Andry Karpasiti – ELEMENTS Gallery.

The Creativity of Dionysus:

For further information on the nature of the character of Dionysus, please read at this link below:

Click on each image to enlarge


The Bacchae Project Titles:


No. 1 - Γέννηση του Διόνυσου –                  Birth of Dionysos

No. 2 - Άφιξη στη Θήβα –                            Arrival at Thebes

No. 3 - Οι Μαιανδες –                                  The Maenads

No. 4 - Οι Εννέα Φωνές –                            Nine Voices

No 5 - Ο βασιλιάς Πένθεος                          King Pentheus

No. 6 - Η σύλληψη του Διόνυσου –             The Capture of Dionysos

No. 7 - Η Tρέλλα Aρχίζει –                          The Madness Begins

No. 8 - Θάνατος του Πενθέου –                   Death of Pentheus

No. 9 - Η Αάβα ξυπνά –                              Agave Awakens

No. 10 - Ο θρίαμβος του Διονύσου –          Triumph of Dionysos

Elements to be found in the Bacchae:

Examines modernity’s fascination with the myth

of Dionysus by focusing on questions of:




psychological integrity

modern constitution of the self.


Manifestations of the ‘Dionysiac mode” in:





Historicizes the Apollonian-Dionysiac dichotomy as a modern configuration and constitution of the tension between:




cultural manifestations as the antithesis of the

Enlightenment and Romanticism as well as

20th-century variations of the same themes in:



magical realism

Characters/Symbols: as used in the artwork.


Dionysos – radiation symbol, outrage, fear, contamination

Voices – based on computerised voice recognition rhythms

Agave – shocked - open eye, traumatize, revelation, distress

Pentheus – squares depicting stubbornness, strict, inflexible

Maenads – thyrsus, tambourine

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