Ma. Stephanie Abad
Acrylic on canvas
The first time I came across these postcards was when I was around 12 years old. We were sorting through my late Grandpa’s belongings when I came upon the most ornate wooden box I’d ever seen. Inside was a mess of photographs and postcards. I avoided the postcards of Japanese pearl divers because at the time it felt ‘improper’ for a young girl to look at topless woman. Over time, my opinion on the human body changed and now I admire these brave women for their dangerous profession and skill. I wanted to pay homage though idea of a baroque pearl being misshaped but still beautiful is the main idea for the work. The misshapen part of the body is the breasts which, when a woman is developing, can grow at different sizes. To most it is an embarrassing problem but in the work embraces the lack of symmetry as a human beauty. The connection with sea can be seen in the tattoos which represent waves, currents and sea life. Tattooed in her palm is the pearl that reflects her.
A pearl can be misshapen but is still beautiful.
She is a symbol of empowered woman in a story – The Arthurian Cycle – created to impose a new order (the « new christian religion » and Patriarchal order) upon the old one (the « Pagan religion » and world of Matriarchy), via cultural works.
As a symbol, she presents two faces :
The first (front tattoo), shown as the reality : a hard, and negative jealous woman who uses Dark Magic to get revenge : The queen of Witches; represented by a dark crowned raven with a Belladona flower in its claws.
The second (back tattoo), shows the buried truth : the white, pure and positive stag of the Good Magic, as Morgana – Le Fay -(la fée) can also be seen as a personification of a good Goddess of the Pagan religion, or even The Goddess Earth, herself !
I’m sorry about the colors in the picture, they are not as nuanced and detailed as my original (watercolor) because my scanner is not very good.
Anyway I did my best, and hope you’ll like my Morgana.
My Medusa is different to the character we know from myth. She is a woman empowered by her tattoo’s, the serpents a symbol of a powerful female energy. She now keeps the mirror which was once her down fall, although her heart remains of stone, perhaps more wary of love after she was turned to stone by confronting her own reflection.
(Ideally the mirror should sit in the crown, but be detachable to also be hand held. Also, for a photo she could be posed with a male doll painted like stone.)
Thankyou so much for the opportunity to enter your wonderful competition, i adore your dolls and reading your book brings me untold joy.
My husband and i have sat up together night after night, when our little girl Salome is asleep (who we think looks just like your Salome when she sulks!) working on our entries and its been lots of fun to have a creative project we both feel excited about!
Parts of the tattoo that comes out from the dotted line is intended to turn around the body of the doll. For example the leaves can continue in the right arm if you like.
the unknown such as nature represents. She is as a wild animal, living in the present moment, provides food and shelter for predators and prey,
and then takes them back into the earth to replay the whole cycle again. the roots are strong in their deep foundations, yet the structure so delicate with out stretched branches chasing the sunlight. It seems that we have lost a part of natural ways, so busy in our cities and modern cultures we build around our selves, but she is there inside all of us, waiting.
we named her Salome because we love all the art work on the subject, we were stoked when we saw you had made a Salome art doll! she is Awesome.
i am not an artist, i have just cut and paste to show my concept. the map i have used is from google images.
Each of my designs was inspired by a real woman who has been marred from these atrocities. My goal was to create tattoos that would bring these horrific crimes to light, and generate awareness for these suffering women. At the same time, instead of focusing on their scars as something realistic and horrifying, I desired to turn them into something beautiful and intricate. This way, the designs reflect the unique beauty that is present inside each of the courageous victims.