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The Emancipation of Eve

Myth Weavers: Constructing Beauty and Power
This is an evolving series I am working on, creating and constructing an allegory of beauties. But beauty is relative, and my intention is to deconstruct that notion to make it particular to struggles women face in the realm of archaic conceptions of gender identity and roles; essentially identities dictated by a patriarchal society. I can find sources all around me, but I have chosen conventional, traditional sources, for those seem to be where the vast majority of people find their foundational societal misgivings, whether willingly or otherwise. This is dangerous as women and men innocently fall prey to myths and constructions, some which have held us prisoner for centuries and continue to do so through a collective unconscious level. The root of it all: how does Eve’s identity continue to perpetuate and influence women’s self-esteem and lack of empowerment? How can we as women function in a healthy manner when we subconsciously view ourselves as ‘the root of all evil’? We teach our children, girls and boys that this is the case and continue the cycle. No one escapes the damage done, it is part of the collective unconscious. We construct our lives, sometimes unknowingly controlled by these underlying systems, creating a divide between men and women and remain relentlessly in a power struggle. It all starts with the forbidden fruit. I use the apple as a paradox of the fruit of knowledge, desire and fear of the unknown, and yet also represents the most commonly devoured fruit. The source of nourishment that protects us from disease remains the source of the downfall of humankind. By eating of that which informs us and makes us aware, we are freed from limiting belief systems. Women will discover how powerful they are, and men will find that they aren’t as powerful as they might think. Only then can we truly live free of dictations meant to keep us all slaves. I offer glimpses of those moments of awareness when women empower themselves by redefining notions of evil.

Ariadne’s Release


The Taming of the Fox

Romulus, Remus & Wolf Mother

12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2010 4:12 am

    Really love this series, and more re-interpretations of these myths are sorely needed. As you note, it doesn’t just hurt women–it hurts men as well. It keeps us all in chains. The traditional subject matter is perfect in that these myths do continue to influence us in subtle and not-so-subtle ways even when we don’t know some of them directly (like the ideas of Freud-even for those who’ve never read him–and even if the ideas are distorted, they’re there constantly. (Myths are like this, too, in that the version that filters into culture is usually denuded of nuance to a certain degree…)). It is in the cultural air we breathe. Can’t wait to see more!

  2. January 20, 2010 7:38 am

    it brings to mind the books and lectures that dr. joseph campbell did on myth and cultutre. the girl approaching the forbidden fruit reminds me, somehow of Christina’s World by Wyeth–but his girl was disabled with multiple sclerosis, I believe but is this girls desire for evil intent her disability or her motivation. why is she looking at the viewer and seemingly ignoring the apple

  3. January 20, 2010 4:59 pm

    I am deeply influenced by Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung. It thrills me that you were able to pick up on that. The notion of evil comes from what I believe is a semiotic construction. I believe ideas of “evil” are really just tools that can be utilized for Self Awareness and Self Actualization. It isn’t necessarily about embracing one’s dark side, but rather integrating it as a necessity for wholeness. Christianity would have women believing that to embrace their Selves is on par with evil. Thus, knowledge is “evil”. The apple represents many things to me, the forbidden fruit (the initiation for the journey into the unknown), and knowledge especially. She gazes out at the viewer as her way of confronting art history and history’s repression of the feminine. Her gaze confronts that patriarchal threat (ie:”I dare you to try”) that would take away her desire (represented by the apple) to empower herself. As Eve, she represents and takes a stand for all women.

  4. January 20, 2010 5:26 pm

    go caroline!

    really enjoyed your text

  5. January 20, 2010 9:20 pm

    I have a vivid memory of being 7 or 8 yrs old in church listening to the priest talk about Eve and how she, the mother of all women, was evil and led to earth’s downfall from the garden. I was incredulous! I looked around to see if anyone was going to stand up and stop him! Stand and protest! No one did, of course. My naivete . I felt let down by everyone and it also made me so sad and I felt ashamed to be a girl. I wanted to make up for her sin. Needless to say, my church-going days are past me.

  6. January 20, 2010 9:24 pm

    BTW ~ Little Buddha says your Eve looks like a Spanish Vampire coming out of a coffin 🙂 Through the eyes of babes.

  7. June 6, 2010 6:25 pm

    Hi Caroline
    I am browsing through your website and I have to say that I love how your expressives subjects give away their energy and their life through your lense (your artistic eye).

    Love your use of lines in the drawings and paintings, making them feel electric and vibrant with energy.

    Really like your painting taming of the fox, feels like a glimpse of a dream that woman had.

    Talk to you soon


  8. Tracey permalink
    May 19, 2012 5:15 pm

    Hi Honey,
    You know, I do like your new works and the way you are using and recreating color, but I do love this myth weavers series, especially the modern day snow white, I think I know a few ladies like her, ha ha.
    Chat with you soon, Tracey (Australia)

    • May 19, 2012 8:58 pm

      Trace!! I don’t think I have your most current email. Is this it? We need to have a phone chat. Miss you so much! XO

  9. Nin permalink
    January 19, 2013 4:17 am

    I really like the theme of this series.


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