The theme of "Crystal Cave" is mothers and daughters who have been separated through war, exploitation (child brothels, slavery), careers, involuntary marriage into another family/clan, illness, or strong personality clashes, and who are seeking each other in order to reconnect, to reconcile differences, to return to the love and nurturance of the ancient Mother-Daughter relationship.
In order to find each other, the women go into a beautiful Crystal Cave, deep within the living(!) body of the Earth, a cave like those considered sacred by ancient peoples. As they go deeper into the cave, instead of finding darkness, they discover a stream of light and flowing water. The goddesses Demeter and her daughter Persephone are remembered here, as well as the tragic mother-daughter pair of Clytemnestra and her daughter, Iphigenia, whose father sacrificed her in order that his Greek army could sail onto their war against Troy. Mother and Infant, Mother and Maiden, Crone and Her Adult Daughter are all represented.
My book/diorama is a poignant image. On one hand, many of the women are lost and alone. On the other hand, they inhabit a cavern that offers beauty and hope, Earth’s crystalline energy and multi-hued healing waters. With time and effort, may they find each other and be healed.
The diorama itself is basesd on the "carousel" format so popular in children's books. It consists of three layers of Arches watercolor paper, folded in the center, cut away in various places, and held together on the sides. It is lit from above by small LED lamps. Dimensions: 11.5" wide x 12" high x 5" deep. To see the box it is in, view the three-quarter image of Crystal Cave in my gallery dioramas: a life on stage.
A portion of the sales of this diorama will go to Bioneers' Women's Leadership program, which "increases the capacity of women of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities to step into greater leadership to effect progressive environmental and social change."
Just before preparing this blog, I read of the recent suicide of Fakhra Younas, a Pakistani acid attack victim. One detail in the news article caught my eye:Fakhra's husband actually entered the house of Fakhra's own mother to pour acid on his wife. Imagine being that mother and witnessing the desecration of your own daughter. More than 8,500 acid attacks, forced marriages and other forms of violence against women were reported in Pakistan in 2011, according to The Aurat Foundation, a women's rights organization. The horrific crime against Fakhra Younas is an example of the systematic devaluation and denigration of women in many many parts of the world (including the United States). So many lost mothers and daughters! How urgently the world needs progressive women leaders!