For me the place where feminism, activism and spirituality intersect is in the creation of art. It is creates a space in which I can claim, restore and recraft my connection to the sacred.
Kirrilee and I exhibited for the Vagina 101 exhibition in 2013. I thought I would begin my contribution to this blog by describing the piece I created.
RevisYONIng the sacRED is an art installation created for the Vagina 101 exhibition, it has since been installed at a variety of events including conferences, women’s workshops and red tent spaces and will morph and change to the energy of the moment of installation.
It is an altar to reclaim the beauty/respect/awe of the Yoni/Vagina/Cunt, she of many names, many which the overculture uses with disdaining, minimising and shame provoking labels.
Mirrors are one of the main motifs to trigger a felt response to what is evoked on viewing this piece, and act as a tool for revisioning the personal and collective engagement with the Sacred.
An old mirror hangs on the wall above the central altar, its surface is stained and its framework is crumbling away……
It represents current patriarchal/governing code values, from exploitation and control of women’s birthing autonomy, creating a false beauty mythology that disempowers women of all ages, paedophilic pollution of girls, gender inequalities etc, the list is endless.
On the floor at the base of the central altar are shards/fragments of mirror representing the necessary shattering of the old, hierarchical paradigms of control.
Silver dollar gum eucalyptus leaves, used for purification in traditional women’s business, as taught by Minmia, Wiradjuri senior lore/law woman, sit amongst the shards of broken mirrors, they represent the purification and renewing, that is needed after the fracturing of unsustainable perceptions.
The revisioned Yoni
The mirror vagina on the altar holds a new relationship to the reverence of life, it offers a sacred portal that not only incubates human life, but contains within it, the doorway to the mystery of the cosmos.
Its centrepiece consists of two mirrors representing the outer lips of the vulva, within its centre is an ancient dish containing a golden egg. This egg can be seen as the cosmic egg of creation, containing all potentiality, it is nestled within corn and pomegranate seeds.
The corn represents fertility and our embodiment on this earth, the pomegranate seeds link into the Women’s Mystery understanding, of the repeated Cycles of Birth, Growth, Death and Decay.
The red fabric expresses the richness of menstruation and honours its self-initiatory processes.
The lovely red peppercorn seeds…. well the Vagina is Hot!
Seeds, the chalice and ecstasy
The chalice contains rich pomegranate syrup and acts as clitoris.
It is an invitation/offering to drink to the magic of one’s own divinity.
In old, pre Christian mystery traditions, pomegranate seeds were seen as food/nourishment for the dead.
In this piece they represent the death of the ego that orgasm offers, an ecstatic experience that breaks the hold of mental, structural constraint and restores our connection to divine bliss/union to all that is. The Oneness.
The dish is surrounded by bean seeds, these beans have been saved from many harvestings and have been shared through my generational lineage…. they speak to me, not only connection to ancestral wisdom but speak of Hope, Continuity and unconditional Generosity.
The Red carpet and the new visYoning
This altar to the sacREDness of the Yoni, honours women’s ability and choice to generate life. It is a celebration of cyclicity, and endeavours to inspire Hope for a new vision to take form.
A red carpet leads the viewer to the centrepiece. It is a metaphorical path to invoke new neural pathways collectively and personally, and hopes to inspire a new Art/Way of Living.