Friday, December 6, 2013

New Old Work........

Last spring I began a series of 4 masks, inspired by a friend who wished to use them for a ritual theatre process based upon the Eleusinian Mysteries of ancient Greece.  We don't know exactly what occured in the Mysteries, because participants were forbidden to tell what occured - "Mystery" derives from a work that means "that which cannot be spoken".  But the  Eleusinian Mysteries  combined spirit of place and mythic enactment to transform pilgrims as they  enacted the death/rebirth cycle of nature, based upon the Triple Goddess Demeter/Persephone/Hecate  for almost 2,500 years, and probably longer, as, like many places of pilgrimage today, the origins go back far into prehistory. 

I wanted to try to make the masks look old, and tried to imagine what they might have looked like as painted Greek masks..........these don't really look much like ancient Greek masks at all, but I like them anyway.  They were recently used by a ritualist in California, so they have some energy instilled in them and I hope they'll "travel" to others who might want to use them to explore these important myths.



I've written quite often about Hecate, the Underworld Goddess who bears two Torches to assist Persephone, and the immature unconscious parts of all of us, through the Underworld to mature empowerment - here's a recent post.


Here's another recent variation..............Demeter aren't done yet.  But I had fun making the masks look "bronze".  I like the idea of these masks, and the other sculptures that seem related, really looking sculptural, with a heavy, strong, dark,  metal presence. 

Black Madonna
Here's an other theme that keeps arising, and it's good to come back to these images, play with them again.  The Primal Black Madonna, Earth Mother, Gaia, the Source that sustains us all.

Transformer:  Yin and Yang
I love these paper casts of a dead snake that I found years ago and made a plaster cast of.  Snakes were very sacred in ancient times as a symbol of the renewal of life because the snake sheds its skin.  Snakes also represented the serpentine movements of nature, the spiral of the Goddess that moves through nature's cycles, through life/death/rebirth again and again.  The Snake is identified with Demeter and Persephone, and in ancient Egypt the word for snake or cobra was the same as the word for female deity.

I did this "Skin Shedder Mandala" back in 1986, when I was studying "The Spiral Dance" by Starhawk as a graduate student at the U.A.  A lot of people found it dark or grim............but I still love it.  

The Black Madonna (2013)

Black Madonna earlier version...............
  And I'm having fun making these variations on the Torso .................... I guess the next one is a "copper patina" effect.  Good to be in the studio again, having my discussions, in the symbol language of art I think, with the Dark Goddesses of  Winter....................

Cast of sculpture from IPark in 2005


Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Good god, lauren. You don't realize how talented you are. These pieces are powerful.

The Muse In Willits said...

HI Lauren. I was reviewing some of your older work and the masks you have in this article of New Old Work are inspiring. Do you still have them? I would love to see them and perhaps use them in a piece with my high school kids.