This is a ceramic plaque showing the Goddess Gaia plucking embryos from the ocean of life and bringing them into existence. The sculpture is about 30 cm x 30 cm and it is glazed with oxides and transparent glaze and I melted some blue glass inside her hands.
I was inspired by Marija Gimbutas reports back from her excavations of neolithic civilisations in Catal Huyuk in Turkey, where she discovered that the bucranium, or the skull of a bull, is shown in place of the uterus in sculptures of the Great Goddess who was worshipped there at the time ( about 7000 B.C). She found the bucranium depicted in sculptures and paintings everywhere; in temples as well as in private houses.
In fact, it is one of the earliest fertility symbols we are aware of.
Marija Gimbutas describes in her book ‘The Civilization of the Goddess’ how the bucranium was revered as a fertility symbol because it resembles the womb and the fallopian tubes and how this symbol has carried on throughout the ages. The Greeks and the Romans used the symbolism, as did the Egyptians, but there the use was more to do with sacrifice to the Gods.
Even the Victorians in England used the bucranium to replicate motifs from the antiquity in urns, friezes and sculpture.
This is another version; but you can see how the hands resembles the horns of the bulls – or indeed the fallopian tubes, and the face is the womb. You can find it on my website http://annakeiller.com/sculptures/
I am really glad that the young lad who bought the plaque ( well, actually, we swapped skills – he did some gardening for me) felt that the thing made perfect sense to him. It just shows how universal these symbols and ideas are, and how time has virtually no meaning when dealing with archetypal themes.
If you would like to see more of my work, please visit my website at www.annakeiller.com