Eden, an Hortus Conclusus


The ideal woman I want is not made in her core of obedience, holy and therefore separated from nature and the things of this earthly world. She is not a paradox of virtues, conveniently unphased by the filthiness of sex and yet crowned with the seemingly compulsory title of mother. The ideal woman I wish for exists in the world, this world, in relation to herself first. So I tried to reimagine Mary in this terrestrial world; holding the symbol of grace not of her motherhood, but her earthiness. I wanted to reimagine her as such in Art History, how she could have been through the eyes of the great masters; to be unphased by the parables of Eve and Pandora (respectively the first woman in the monotheist religions, and the first woman in Greek myth), both guilty of releasing evil upon humankind because of their defiance of a god’s prohibition. The Fruit of Knowledge flowers only after being eaten.

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