Wednesday, 4 January 2012

One for the Classical fans

First off - Happy New Year and thank you to everyone who has taken an interest in my stuff.

Big Smiley Faces all round.

This little painting ('bout 30cms high) came out of a Life drawing class I gave some time ago.

To add a bit of interest I'd invited a beautiful local Burlesque dancer to model for the group, and she duly arrived in a taxi with a 6' python called Houdini in her handbag.

Casting around for a subject to place her in, I started researching the old Hebrew gospel story of Lilith.

If you recall your scrolls, she's the one who was originally created as a chum for Adam but who fell from grace when she objected to adopting a subservient position when required to, erm, - you the thing that Adam had only been able to do before when he caught the wildlife bending over at the waterhole, if you catch my drift.

Anyway, she instantly became the world's first feminist icon, and Adam became the first bloke to look a gift horse in the proverbials...

In truth, this is a typically chauvinistic load of old twaddle designed to - once again - cast women in the role of demonic persecutor, rampaging through a male defined world with lustful, wicked intent.

So much easier to make the female of the species into a monster than for men to admit that most of their troubles emanate from an inability to control the contents of their thousand-wash-grey dadpants...

To offset some of the baby-eating/men despoiling/devil-humping aspects of the traditional Lilith, I thought I'd see what other cultures had made of her.

Would you believe it, prior to the Romano/Greek/Christian rewrite, she (or a very similar version of her) was a Pagan icon of female spirit, strength and Mother Earthliness; just the sort of White Goddess that my old favourite poet and First War veteran Robert Graves was so fond of.

Anyone spot a pattern forming here?

Again, I built the composition around the Golden ratio, only to find that the same proportions exactly match the construction of the pentagram which - you've guessed it - is the traditional symbol of Goddess wholeness, unity and protection.

Add a suggestion of the tree of knowledge, and a bit of Hebrew script carved into the surface in a reverse order (girls on top this time) , put the finished thing into a frame that looks like it goes out at night scaring small children on its own and there you have it - a quasi post biblical retro re-engineered proto feminist icon reclaimed for metrocentric non-gender specific intellectuals.

Looks a bit rude to me...