Archival poem: firing goddesses from the murray river

Featured image: Venus of Willendorf.

The Venus of Willendorf is an 11.1-centimetre-tall Venus figurine estimated to have been made 30,000 BCE.   Discovered in Austria in 1908, it is composed of red ochre and limestone (Oolite) and stands 11.1 centimetres tall.  Source: Wikipedia

I wrote this poem and made a series of river clay goddesses based on the Venus of Willendorf while camping beside the Murray River for the Down To Earth Confest in the early 1990s.  It was published in the ‘Journal of Australian Studies’ Creative Arts Review, (Number 62, University of Queensland Press, 1999).

I made many of these during that camping trip and gave them away to women friends to keep as a reminder that the kinds of female bodies we’ve been trained to see as unattractive were actually worshipped by the ancients as symbols of beauty and fertility.   The photo is of the last one I have remaining.

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