December 2007, Oil on canvas, 12″ × 12″
This is the first in a new series of pagan religious icons. After a personal religious ritual, while I was still in a meditative, trancelike state, I called on the celtic goddess Dana and started to paint, letting the awen (the spirit of inspiration) speak through me. I wasn’t so much invoking the goddess through my ritual as centering myself, and opening myself to the power she represents, letting it manifest through the painting. I worked from imagination without any clear plan, developing the composition intuitively.
This is part of a longer soul-work, in which painting becomes a meditative, communicative process, a method of experiencing and revealing the divine through inspired and creative acts. I’ve wanted to explore pagan iconography for a while now, and this is my first non-commissioned, personally significant artwork of that type. My art, the art in me that feels like it means something, is a revelation and exploration of a panentheist divine, but who is revealed most powerfully through the inspiration process itself. It’s an exploration of the divine in myself and how it relates to the divine in the world. It’s magic realism, playing with various mythologies and symbol sets. It’s invocation through imagery, the divine made very real, very physically manifest in the object of the artwork. I’m not sure what else it is yet. But this is the first one.
I think this would make an appropriate centrepiece for a contemporary altar or household shrine, or it could also be hung decoratively. The painting portrays a pale female figure kneeling by a pool in which a full moon is reflected, dipping her hand into a stream of water falling above her head, drawn up from the water of the pool through the roots of a bare-branched tree, and falling in a graceful arc that mirrors the shape of a crescent moon. The imagery and symbolism of this piece reflect both Wiccan and druidic influences. The figure also references the art of Lady Frieda Harris and her work with Aleister Crowley on the Thoth tarot deck; this icon is in part a meditation on Lady Harris’ illustration for The Star (seventeen of Trumps).
© 2008 Helen Lambert – Earth : Sky : Art
The artist retains rights and reproduction privileges of this image.
I regularly accept commissions for bespoke artworks – you can find out more about my work at my website, Earth:Sky:Art.