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Girth Girdle

Sculpture, 38 x 20 x 15 cm
Bisque fired clay, wire

As an artist, I am deeply engaged with the concept of female identity: the relationship to her self and her environment, her mythic bond to animals. I have stalked, wrestled, seduced and been seduced by these themes across many media: sculpture, printmaking, drawing, collage and oil painting. At times my female figures are expansive, at play with animals in the land; in other works, the figures morph into recurring, recursive, mandalas.

This sculpture is a post-modern Venus of Willendorf. The concept of a corset interests me: on one side it controls and limits, on the other side it protects and supports. On one level, this artwork is a self-portrait, depicting myself in my restrictions and at the same time, my efforts for structure and self containment. On another level, this sculpture is respresentative of women and their struggle for identity; it serves as an homage to the Venus of Willendorf, the Paleolithic statue from my home country, Austria, believed to be a fertility symbol. This figure predates even the Roman myth of Venus and is, for me, the embodiment of power.