Birch Goddess Flies Free, 2022, birch bark, papers, homemade felt, string, walnut ink, thread, 65 1/2 x 25 inches.


A traditional goddess totem is portrayed with bosoms piled on top of each other. Here I have done the same, but with bosoms from photographs taken by a  perverted French man.  This man’s gaze is offensive to me. Taken out of context, off the body, in isolation, I try on the one hand to shove how disgusting  voyeurism is into the viewers face,  but on the other hand, to show that body parts taken in isolation are just that, random body parts, and they are not as titillating. Multiple bosoms in ancient art  totems mean fertility and are worshiped.  I like to think that  in this artwork, I have reclaimed breasts and given the power back to the woman.

The most important part of the artwork is actually that this is a Birch goddess.  The Birch tree is also called “lady of the woods” or the Celtic goddess Brigid. She is the goddess of healing, poetry, and smithcraft. She is associated with the sun and solar energy, providing inner vitality and healing.  She is the goddess of summer.

In the woods around my house in Massachusetts, birch trees are abundant. I collect their peeled bark when they have died and incorporate it into my art.  Repurposing the birch bark means that it will never die because it is reborn into my art. However, if I think about it, when it is absorbed into the earth, it also never dies, but is reborn into more nature.