The Earth Goddess (From Ontario) Photograph by Ayala Reznik

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Art Description

Photography: Environmental, Color, Photo on Other, Glass.

My latest work had explored representations of the female body, particularly through the aesthetics of the Palaeolithic and Neolithic eras, and its current significance for understanding the subjects of abuse, trauma, and healing. Throughout my research, I have come to understand the cultural and artistic practices of those periods as invaluable resources for effecting change with respect to the status of femininity and womanhood today, both on a personal level as well as within the broader sociopolitical landscape.
What the Goddess represents for me is the power that is embedded in everything around us and deep inside ourselves. It thrives in destruction as much as in creation, exposing itself before those willing to allow it to as that medium connecting between the realms of destruction and creation. The experience of destruction and creation is one that many of us are familiar with. For my part, as I engaged with my own history of violence and abuse, I was, after much effort, delivered to a place in my life where I could finally be born again, by creating myself anew from the ruins of the past.

Most recently, I completed an artist residency on Gabriola Island, British Columbia, where I explored these themes in relation to reconciliation with the indigenous communities of Canada, in particular with the Snuneymuxw First Nation. Part of that effort consisted in creating works that disintegrated organically and left no permanent mark in the natural environment. In doing so, I sought to declare myself as a visitor on their sacred land. It was in virtue of the context I found myself in, and what I felt that it demanded from me, that I was inspired me to create the Earth Goddess series. Building on the same methodology, consisting in channelling prehistoric figurine and goddess archetypes, I used what the landscape provided me with as my material repertoire for generating similar versions of my sculpted creations.
 
This experience taught me how my artistic process consists in opening myself to what my surrounding environment impresses on me, and responding to that environment appropriately. My art is therefore spontaneous, but always in accordance with the respect for the conditions and the obligations that my surroundings, whatever they are, call for. In this way, my work took a transformative step toward encompassing the task of bringing awareness to the often-forgotten sacred relationship between human beings and nature: a reciprocal, healing relationship of give-and-take. The next step for this project and this process is to continue its expansion and its movement toward other contexts, environments, landscapes, and societies, so that in each case my creative work can adapt to the demands of our shared world, and raise awareness about the status of us all here as visitors, as social fellows, and about our need to respect the earth that hosts us as well as one another.


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The Earth Goddess (From Ontario)

Ayala Reznik

Canada

Photography

Size: 37.4 W x 24.8 H x 0.8 in

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