Presenting an image of towering runestones emitting concentric waveforms, this work calls to consider the force of language in its use towards propelling and justifying political ideologies. Sveva was interested in what she perceived as the manipulative intent of many slogans used historically by rulers to compel and placate their populace. Slogans that acted in this way, Sveva asserted, included the “White Man’s Burden” and the “Divine Right of Kings”, presumably for the ways in which these ideas established hierarchies upon fallible grounds and were adopted to justify the oppression of the rights of others.
It is believed that runes, which were the letters of various written languages of Germanic peoples, in their early form, were thought to hold magical and divinatory powers. In this painting there appears to be sound emanating out of the runestones, as if voices of ancient ancestors are continuing to speak the sayings of their eras. In aligning runic inscriptions with later political and ideological movements, Sveva highlights the mysterious power of language and its weaponization throughout history.