Denied speaks of a barrier from things unknown,
unknowable, fear resulting in self imposed isolation. There
are times when distance is necessary.
shield series tells a very personal story which began when I lived
in France in 1993. A solitary point in my life when I read a good
deal, especially at night. During visits to Paris I purchased the
books I could find in English, which I carried back to the south.
One of them was 'Possessing the
Secret of Joy' by Alice Walker.
changed me, my female voice forever. The story carved a sliver into
my soul and nestled there darkly until a light ignited a spark. At
that time the spark brought tears, anger and rage. It is a story of
a woman who travels a painful journey, who was a witness, a willing
victim and a murderer.
prove her worthiness, she embraced a sacrifice so great it cost her,
her soul. The sacrifice was the removal of her womanhood. The ritual
initiation performed on girls of the Olinka tribe in Africa. There
is no gentle or safe way to explain. The clitoris is excised; often
the entire external area of the vulva is cut away. The area is then
stitched closed almost entirely until the time when her husband opens
her on their wedding night. It is not done in a hospital or other
sanitary condition; therefore, infection and sometimes death ensue.
When I returned
to Boston I started work on a series of paper castings. They began
by exploring aspects of an inner journey. They examined dimensions
of womanhood, the cycles of fertility and expressions of sexuality.
A dialogue spoken with light, texture, density and emotion.
associations and ancient spiritual powers drew my curiosity to explore
shields, their function and ritual mysticism. Flight of the Seventh
Moon - The Teaching of the Shields, by Lynn V. Andrew, tells a story
of the Native American Women of the Seneca Nation, and how the women
from this tribe are saving the making of shields from extinction.
I took from this reading that indeed the Yoni Shields spoke of a power
that accompanies my journey.
Sanskrit term Jagad-Yoni was often translated as "womb of the world".
The yoni symbol was seen as the seat of female sexual power and the
source of all creative action. It was often described as a "gateway".
of the Yoni represents the pelvic area of a woman's body and many
philosophical concepts centering on this reality; creation, birth,
love, motherhood, sexual attraction, fulfillment, cyclic time, kundalini
force, the mystery of conception, and the Goddess within.
creative force. The Mother spirit that gave birth to the world of
Lotus - The primary symbol of the cosmic yoni from which all life
Na Gig - Female figures displaying a yoni were common ornaments of
Irish churches built prior to the 16th century. These ornaments were
a sign of protection.
Exposed was created from the sternum of a deer
which symbolizes the center of the soul. A place that feels
deeply the ache of loneliness, the madness and passion of
love, the sound of silence, of peace.
Earth is a simpler form using more organic matter
such as moss and lichen. It is a crevasse, a secret dark
place smelling of the earth and itís secrets. It
represents a path back towards the simplicity of nature and
Germination uses the vertebra of the deer, which
symbolizes a woman's pelvis. Above an area representing a
womb contains a material which represents vestiges of blood
or tissue. Not yet a recognizable form. An idea, feeling,
desire and physiological need.
Voice inside my head, inside my heart, moving my
hands to explore and see. Hear and create. An ancient entity
emerges, speaking through the skull of a turtle. Small
sacred items, easily overlooked by the bustle of masses,
they find places in my work. Shelter, a purpose.
Out of the Fire
Out of the Fire is the yoni form taking leave of
the confines of the mold. It is a free form design, which
survived, and was enhanced through the destruction of fire.
It incorporates matter from earth, the lichen and cactus