About the Piece
This piece is about using the powerful
energy in our bodies to fuel our dreams, to help us to grow and become
self-aware, compassionate people who can give and receive love. The
yoni, in addition to being a sexual symbol, is a symbol of life and
new beginnings. Giving pleasure to ourselves relates directly to the
problem Jungian psychologist Paula Young notices of women she treats
in therapy. When asked what they want, they are unable to give her an
answer, since they are so used to tuning into the needs of others they
are unable to identify their own wants, needs, and pleasures. The
heads of the women are at the locus of the clitoris. These yonis have
clitorises because as Nancy Spero writes "it is about giving pleasure
to ourselves and not to the male gaze." (Leon Golub and Nancy Spero:
War and Memory, Organized by Katy Kline and Helaine Posner MIT
List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge , 1995)
Kathryn Price Theatana writes in her essay
Sila na Geige (Sila of the Trees "Sacred Spaces, Sacred
Places" issue of Sagewoman Magazine, Winter '98/99). "In the shifting
realm between the worlds, She reveals to you the gateway - the vulva
of Woman - through which every one of us entered this world, through
which all of our foremothers entered this world -- like an
archway-pillared corridor reaching all the way back to First Woman."
Because this piece is a Sheela na gig, it is meant to be touched. When
designing it I had in mind the upward thrust of gothic arches. I also
worked with the image of generations of women giving birth to each
other, reaching into the future and back into the past.
The red yoni is reminiscent of an Amazon
warrior's shield. The reddish hue is also the color of a menstruating
woman's yoni. With the shield shape, the vulva becomes an active,
protective, assertive symbol-- women protecting themselves and
fighting for their lives. This piece is also reminiscent of a seed
with its layers, or the flame of a candle.
Spero, Nancy (1995). From the art exhibition of Leon Golub and
Nancy Spero: War and Memory. Organized
Kline and Helaine Posner. MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge
April 15-June 25, 1995.
Theatana, Kathryn Price (1998). Sila of the Trees.
Sagewoman Magazine, Winter 98/99.
For questions or comments about Cydra's art, please email: email@example.com