|The Empty Womb. Mixed Media Collage on Bristol. © Liz Darling 2010.|
This body of work encompasses ideas about maternity, female sexuality, and religion. The experience of becoming a mother transformed the way I view the female body and the creation of life. Inspired by performing in Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues," I see the vulva as a symbol of feminine power.
This series also reflects my frustration with the Christian Church's role in patriarchal societies. I was raised in Christianity, and although I consider myself agnostic, I have been profoundly influenced by Christian ideas and teachings. I juxtaposed vulvas with the traditional style of religious iconography to connect the spiritual and visceral aspects of my experience as a woman as well as provoke thought about how Christianity (as well as other major Abrahamic religions) has been used to oppress, dominate, and marginalize women for centuries.
|Transformation. Oil on Canvas. © Liz Darling 2009.|
|Transformation (Detail). Oil on Canvas. © Liz Darling 2009.|
|Cycles. Mixed Media on Canvas. © Liz Darling 2009.|
|Mandorla. Oil on Panel. © Liz Darling 2009.|
Religion is one of the most pervasive controlling forces in society. The Christian Church creates and dominates cultural norms presently and historically. I am particularly interested in the dichotomy between the Church and female sexuality. By integrating vaginal imagery with the traditional style of religious iconography, I hope to make the viewer question the traditional role of women in religion and the relationship between sexuality and spirituality.