Violence in Eden

ZYNKA Gallery
904 Main St, Pittsburgh, PA 15215
January 9 - February 20, 2021

Artist Statement

“Wildlife and the Wild Woman are both endangered species.”
- Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves

The parallels between the oppression of women and the domination of nature are glaring, once our eyes are roused to see it. Both are religiously sanctioned as property, legislated against, denigrated into submission, cast as villains, their beauty monetized, and their fertility systematically policed.

My eyes only fully opened to these comparisons at the confluence of two life-altering experiences - the start of multiple collaborations with environmental scientists, and becoming a mother. With each additional set of scientific data, my despair about the fragility of life, a looming uninhabitable planet for the beings I willingly brought into this world, and my own culpability in a mass extinction event was further cemented. It also ignited a hot blaze of maternal instinct to safeguard my children and the environment that cradles them.

Here, I’ve visually retold striking historical metaphors linking the two - those of nature representing feminine power and of female characters representing Mother Nature. The repeating patterns of cultural and religious symbols of fertility, layered with female figures, also pry into the devastating consumption of our booming human population and how it’s shaped our modern Eden.

This body of work is a deeply emotional and intuitive response to that awakening. It’s a reflection on transgressions, large and small, aimed at the bodies of women, girls, and nature.

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