Mother Earth, Ancient Mother.

Soft Sculpture mother Earth with embroidered and appliqued details .Her face is needle felted.
Mother Earth

Lately my thoughts have been much focused on the environment and our duty of care. This has caused great distress because of the blatant disregard that is being shown to the health and well being of the planet and all it sustains. There is such an immense rush to extract minerals from the earth and with this activity there appears to be an inability to recognise that the planet is not an infinite resource to be plundered and abused. Likewise our food is much compromised through broad acre farming, feedlots, chemical additives and genetic modification. No wonder then that this figure emerged, a powerful reminder that the planet has long been regarded as a living entity that nourishes us but in turn needs to be respected and cared for in order to sustain all life. Mother Earth, Gaia, Demeter, the Ancient Mother. She has many names and many aspects. On this occasion She revealed Herself as a wise and loving, older woman holding her arms open in embrace to offer protection, support and unconditional love. Appliqued motifs portray some of the symbols that have been associated with Her over many thousands of years. The one that seems to draw attention first is the apple. The apple has been depicted  in many cultures in various ways but to me it  represents knowledge, creativity and life everlasting. When the apple is cut in half it reveals a five pointed star, another ancient  symbol. Within, the apple holds the seeds of new life and growth. The colour red  holds significance, too, being the colour of blood and life. Around this Lady is a tree, the Tree of Life growing  from deep below the earth, reaching upwards linking Heaven and Earth, as well as being a symbol of the Divine Feminine and Her powers of creating and caring for life. On the front of the figure, resting in leaves near Her shoulder, is a bee which is not only an important pollinator but also another name for the Great Mother; who is the Queen Bee. Bees were believed to be divine messengers, as is the bird. A small blue bird is perched in the branches behind Her. Blue being the colour of the sky is also used to signify  communication and connection to the feminine form of deity. I’d like to think the bird  sings to us to remind us of the beauty of nature and the joy that gives. By her side is is a rabbit, long connected with the Earth Mother as an indication of abundance and fertility. It is also a much used symbol to express the essence of Spring abundance. Another symbol that appears is the butterfly which is a powerful reminder of transformation, immortality and the soul.  Just to see a butterfly is such a soul, uplifting experience. Yet they, like the bees, are much under threat from “civilisation”, and as a species fast disappearing because of pollution, chemicals, modern agricultural practices  and land clearing. Leaves are the feature that  represent growth and renewal, life, death and immortality. There is one cluster of three ( new, mature and old) acting both as a Triad and as a Trinity. These leaves point to the significant cycles of birth, life and death as well as the stages in life of maiden, mother and crone. Embroidered underneath the figure is a spiral, one of the most ancient symbols of all. Used here it also represents a coiled serpent; both are powerful expressions of the creative life force and long associated with the Great Mother. So much can be attributed to symbols. They act as a shorthand expression to communicate powerful messages throughout time. I feel this project was motivated when a python crawled into our roof.  Incorporating the symbols  was an unconscious act and only after completion came understanding and insight. Back view with bird perched on tree branch. In amongst the leaves are red apples(wood beads) and below flowers growing in the grass.A singing bird

Side view of Mother Earth showing rabbit symbol
Side view with Rabbit

17 thoughts on “Mother Earth, Ancient Mother.

  1. Both this Mother Earth and your post are beautiful. I love the thought and dedication you’ve put into every detail. Truly, this is among the most lovely things I’ve ever seen. (:

  2. Such intricate, detailed, and thoughtful work. I love how you utilize your art to convey environmental ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  3. She is stunning Christina! I love all the symbols you have incorporated into her. Such a beautiful work of art. Is she for an exhibition? or a shop? I cant stop looking at all the little things that surround her xx

  4. Such a wonderful and much-needed icon. Your incorporation of the Tree of Life with Mother Earth reminds me of a medieval picture depicting Christ on the Cross (the Tree of Life) growing from Mary (Mother Earth), who is pictured lying peacefully on a couch near the bottom of the picture. Whatever one’s own expression of spirituality, Earth and Tree are such potent symbols. Plunging one’s hand in the soil or gazing upward at the gentle giants who share this planet with us and give us life-giving oxygen and life-giving beauty of wood and foliage is a religious experience.

    It is sad that so much of humankind seems to be indifferent to nature, focused only on the profit-motive, thoughtlessly despoiling the planet.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful works of art that incorporate such sensitivity to Nature.

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