Crazy weather lately, with summer storms every afternoon. This afternoon the storm passed out to sea, after giving us some very heavy rain(yet again!). Took these pics just after. The hydrangeas look great at the moment, and the passionfruit vine is going crazy with fruit. Luckily no roof leak…the roofing guy replaced a tile just before the storm arrived!
Two of my semi abstract landscapes are being shown in the Clayfield College art show, “Inspired” opening 29 May till 31 May.These haven’t been shown before. I enjoyed making them, and they reference aspects of landscape found in the Northern Rivers area of north east NSW….quite a rainy place, actually.
I’m posting my regular “Artwork of the Month” a bit early this time….due to my computer problem. I will have to use an old image from my library and talk about that. But that’s ok….learning to embrace the circumstances! So this month it’s “Two goddesses with moons”.
This is quite an old painting and I’ve shown it before as part of a group of old paintings in an earlier blog. This painting depicts a symbolic landscape referencing neolithic times and the earth goddesses which prevailed during this period. I’ve placed them in a natural landscape, as they were goddesses of the earth. They have no particular names as there’s no written history for those times, but names are not important. They represent ancient people’s connection to the planet, and I like to reflect on this continuity for us today; reconnecting with the earth and respecting nature. The painting was made with oil paints and contains many symbols. These symbols are 4 moons, a triangle representing the feminine, a spiral (the cycle of life), and another circle, and a small zigzag symbol which according to research means something like “rain”. So we have quite a big collection of symbols creating layers of meaning. The goddesses are large earth mother types which was favoured in those times and their faces were never represented realistically…more like masks. And masks were possibly used in rituals during the neolithic period. The connection to the planet was a matter of survival for such people’s and throughout eastern Europe many such figurines have been unearthed from archeological sites, mostly featuring typically, these styled goddess figures and also a smaller group of male gods that seem to have less importance. So we can see from this research that fertility of the earth, it’s crops, and a bountiful supply of what people needed to live was upper most in their minds…hence the large amount of ritual objects. I was making a lot of research about these finds at the time of painting this picture, and others similar. It’s always interesting to go over old stuff and see it in a new light or simply refresh the memory. Hope you enjoy the image of the goddesses and the accompanying information.
This month, the artworks I’m looking at again, are from a series of “Goddess” paintings I made 20 years ago. Oil paints were the medium. Many of these paintings were from my first solo exhibition “Journey to the Forest within”.
It’s good to reflect on where we’ve come from, and motivations and inspirations from an earlier time. In the late ’80’s to mid ’90’s I spent time researching ancient goddesses from old Europe. These archaeological finds were mainly of small statues, quite simple in appearance yet conforming to a particular style, which over millennia changed very little. They seemed to represent aspects of the earth goddess which people of those times relied on for providing them with all their needs. We are talking about times from around 7000 till 2000 BC, the last remnants of the goddess civilisations being that of the Minoan civilisation.
I loved the simplicity yet power of these designs, and their decoration. Many of these finds were made in Eastern Europe, and were originally researched by Marija Gimbutas. This information was collated in her book “Goddesses and gods of Old Europe”.
I used the goddess image and decorative motifs in a group of paintings made over many years. These symbols used have remained with me till the present time, and are occasionally found in recent paintings. In the old paintings the most common ones were the curved moon, lines representing rain, decorative zigzags, dots, triangle representing fertility, spirals, birds and circles representing home or inclusion. I used them both with the original meaning and also for decorative purposes. So I’ll just put up a small sideshow for your enjoyment.