Thursday, May 13, 2010

These paintings are the bulk of my senior work:

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.

Bound For Grace. Oil and Collage on Canvas. © Liz Darling  2010.

Every day
I crucify myself
My heart is sick of being in
I said my heart is sick of being in
- Tori Amos, “Crucify”