The Fierce and Divine Mother
In the captivating realm of mythological figures, Kali, the fierce and divine goddess of Hindu tradition, finds her place alongside Artemis, Leda, and Ariadne in Jessica Damen's transformative narrative. Like Artemis, Kali embodies the untamed essence of womanhood, representing a profound archetype of feminine strength and power.
Kali, often depicted with a sword and a garland of skulls, symbolizes the raw force of nature and the eternal cycle of creation and destruction. In Damen's reinterpretation, Kali's fearsome appearance takes on a new depth, portraying not destruction, but the transformative power inherent in letting go.
Damen's brushwork breathes life into Kali, capturing her essence as the fierce yet nurturing mother, guiding her devotees through the darkness of ignorance towards spiritual illumination. In the context of "Resilience and Reimagining: The Feminine Narratives of Jessica Damen," Kali becomes a symbol of unapologetic strength, urging viewers to confront their inner demons and embrace the wild, untamed aspects of their own existence.
Just as Damen's exhibition challenges traditional narratives and empowers female figures, Kali stands as a testament to the wild feminine power that resides within every individual. Her presence in this transformative collection serves as a reminder that embracing the depths of our being, including the shadows and fears, is essential for personal growth and empowerment. Through Kali's fierce grace, viewers are invited to explore the complexities of womanhood, embracing their own transformative journeys and emerging stronger, wiser, and unapologetically wild.
"There are many different manifestations of Kali, from the truly gruesome to a householder's benevolent goddess. Often her leg is on her consort, Shiva. An interesting story describes Kali filled with enormous rage ready to destroy everything. Shiva believing that she will not stop by any other means just lied down in her way. When Kali stepped on Shiva she was calmed. Love for her consort overcame her rage. It is believed that devotion to Kali induces the follower not to fear death and thus attain liberation. A photo of an ancient, crude sculpture of Kali stirred me. Later I dreamed to centrally place her disguised fearsome presence while I was painting this bucolic autumn scene. This Epoch's Autumn and my introduction of Kali remains mysterious to me." - Jessica Damen