Your Thoughts on my I’m Alive Goddess Potholders

I'm Alive Goddess 5
I’m Alive Goddess 5

I got some really thought provoking messages from so many people about my I’m Alive Goddesses that I thought I’d share some of them.

It seems a lot of people have issue with her nudity for different reasons.  One person said she’d be more comfortable with her if she wasn’t a potholder, if she was obviously a piece of art that could be framed and hung in her living room. This is interesting to me because I see my potholders as a way bring art into our everyday lives.  So the nudity of ok as long as it’s seen as art .  Also a lots of people mentioned that they’d be uncomfortable having her around kids, because of the nudity and because she’s scary.

Kristy left a comment about our ideas of what women are supposed to look like : “I think your goddess violates the primary measure of a woman’s value: her appearance. We live in a time when a woman’s worth is bonded with iron rivets to her appearance. Your pieces represent bodies that are proudly, blatantly female, yet they are topped with faces that are the antithesis of Barbie-pretty, and it’s just too much dissonance for some of us to accept….. Women, above all (we are told), should take measures to change or at least hide that which is unattractive about them”.

A few people said her face reminded them of Maurice Sendak’s drawings.  I can see this.   I wasn’t thinking of anything when I made these drawings, I was just creating.   But the subconscious does draw from what it knows.  So I don’t doubt that Sendak played a part in her.  Some of the other influences I saw after drawing her were Venus of Willendorf (which someone else saw too) and the Tibetan Tiger Rug that I have a picture of hanging in my studio.

Erika, said they remind her of Kali, the Hindu Goddess who truly is scary.  I never heard of her till after I made my goddesses.  But I do respect her power.  Erika also said that the Russian witch Baba Yaga has chicken legs.  I’ve heard of Baba Yaga but didn’t know about her feet when I made my goddesses.  I do believe this speaks to the collective unconscious.

And then there’s Bev’s words, which really capture what my I’m Alive Goddess is so much about.   She wrote :  ” It is scary but there comes a time in our healing when we can stop hiding from the shame, and use the pain we have suffered and turn it into our fierceness. To stand up and exclaim that we aren’t just surviving anymore but living! Taking our lives into our own hands in a strong defiant way and changing into what we are deep inside, what we’ve always wanted to be but couldn’t even imagine it, let alone speak out about it….”

So maybe the fears that the I’m Alive Goddess evokes are really our own fears about ourselves.  Our shame, our power, our ideas of beauty.

If you have a chance, read all the comments, I only put pieces of them here and there’s lots more that I didn’t mention at all.   I love that they’re all so honest and thoughtful. And many of the people who wrote wouldn’t want to live with this potholder or even like it.   I only got one thoughtless and angry email.  It makes me feel good to know that the majority of the  people who read my blog aren’t like that.  Thanks for the conversation.

Venus of Willendorf
Venus of Willendorf
Tibetan Tiger Rug
Tibetan Tiger Rug



12 thoughts on “Your Thoughts on my I’m Alive Goddess Potholders

  1. No, thank *you*, for provoking the conversation in the first place.

    That’s what Artists do. Artists with a capital “A”.

  2. Maria, I think it’s a hoot that you’ve put these ‘goddess’ figures on a domestic item…what a juxtaposition. And, I loved reading all the comments too, it’s good to stir people up, makes us look at ourselves when we find some level of discomfort in something visually but it’s okay to not like something, too, just good to figure out why if we can…. When I was at art college and came upon the Venus of Willendorf, I wondered what sort of mind created it…a goddess indeed! Big boobs, protruding stomach, knockknee’d and curly hair that looks like a rapper’s hat. It has to have been better than that in pre-historic times. Women haven’t changed all that much over the centuries. A tummy like that would indicate either a caesarean or a hysterectomy. A friend said recently…’I yearn to view my pubic hair’…explaining she’d had a caesarean years ago.
    This has been fun…Jon doesn’t get all the controversy on his page…look what we’ve done here…(smile)
    Sandy P in Canada

    1. I do love that part of it and it hasn’t been mentioned Sandy, about the juxtaposition. The fabric for the potholders are old linen dish towels.

  3. Missed all the discussion on the Goddess pot holders. But did want to let you know that at my last dinner party I used your penis pot holders and they were a huge hit with the guests. Most interesting dinner conversations we’ve enjoyed in awhile

  4. I love how free everyone felt to be so open and honest, I also admire how thoughtful,and true every comment was. It’s wonderful to hear so many points of view.

  5. Well, I’ve decided my Goddess potholder will hang out with me at my desk at home for a while, and then she’ll join her sister Maria Wulf potholders in the kitchen to keep things interesting!

  6. I absolutely love these potholders! They are fierce, yet funny…you do not need anyone’s validation, Maria, you have all the strength and inner artist to produce exactly what you want to produce. Good for you! Hope you make more of these as I see they are sold out. C

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