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Paintings by Dr. Ron Clavier
Dennis Tourbin Members Gallery at NAC
Saturday 25 November 7PM


Pandora was Greek mythology’s the first mortal woman. Created by male gods, she lived with her husband in a paradisiac setting. One day, Pandora was presented with a box, which she was forbidden to open under any circumstances. But she did open the infamous box; and in so doing, it is written that she unwittingly unleashed sorrow and misfortune for humanity. Told this way, the Pandora myth portrays women as weak and impulsive troublemakers. Niagara psychologist and artist Dr. Ron Clavier strongly disputes this degrading characterization, and casts Pandora in the light of the women that have influenced him most.

“My wife, my mother, my sisters, my daughters and my female colleagues and friends are strong, intelligent and courageous. Assuming that Pandora herself was such a woman, I asked myself why she would have opened the box. When the answer came to me, I knew I had to re-invent the myth on canvas.”

The result is Clavier’s exhibition of 20 original oil paintings, collectively entitled PANDORA, which offers a new, egalitarian interpretation of events.

Clavier’s paintings expose the “framing” of Pandora by predominantly male gods, and present a storyline in which powerful female gods turn the tables on their misogynistic counterparts. Aphrodite and Athena prepare Pandora for her ordeal by equipping her with strength, intelligence, curiosity, and compassion. Clavier gives those positive characteristics transcultural authority by weaving aspects of both the Iroquois Creation Myth’s “Sky Woman” and Buddhism’s female “Tara” into his images. Seen in this feminist context, Clavier’s paintings transform Pandora’s painful, but insightful opening of the box into an act of heroism. Though she suffers wrath and humiliation for opening the box, Pandora is secure in the knowledge that what she did was right. She emerges with hard-earned respect; equality with men; confidence; and inner peace.

PANDORA, opens in the Dennis Tourbin Members Gallery at the Niagara Artists Centre in St. Catharines on Saturday 25 November at 7PM.

The public is invited to view the works of art during regular gallery hours:

Dr. Clavier will donate 33% of the revenues of this exhibition to GILLIAN’S PLACE, St. Catharines.