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The Sacred Feminine: The Goddess and other Archetypes

The Sacred Feminine: The Goddess and other Archetypes

Curated by Miriam Koshy-Sukhija

31 March to 30 April 2018.


These works were created at an Art Residency, held at The Cajueiro Homestead from 25 to 30 March 2017.

The curatorial trajectory for the Residency was to explore, re-interpret, draw parallels and re-invoke the Sacred Feminine by focusing on the Goddess and Other Archetypes across Cultures. The Art Residency was an initiative of Gallery Gitanjali to promote and support Art and to create a platform for artists from Goa and the rest of country to work together and share thoughts and ideas on their practice and journey as artists.


The artists invited to be part of this Residency were Aadhi Vishal, Apurva Kulkarni, Francis Desousa, Praveen Naik, Rajendra Usapkar, Rajeshree Thakker, Sanatan Saha, Sara Khalafi, Siddharth Gosavi, Sonia Rodrigues Sabharwal, Swapnesh Vaigankar, Vasudev Shetye, Veenita Chendvankar, Viraj Vasant Naik, Yolanda de Sousa, Pushpanjali Sharma, Godot Laifungbam, Priyal Woodpecker, most of whom have focused on the Feminine in their Art Practice .


While the works of art made by the artists in response to this curatorial focus will be on display at the gallery during the exhibition, with Priyal Woodpecker responding to them in verse, Godot Laifungbam's murals invoking the Greek Goddesses were made in situ at The Cajueiro Homestead and have been documented for viewing.


One of the curatorial interventions was a Somatic Artistic exploration workshop specially designed for the artists by Pushpanjali Sharma with the intention of exploring a feminine approach to art making that may perhaps be subdued or neglected due to our patriarchal education. The workshop served as a preparation for contemplation on the Sacred Feminine as well as means to personally experience the Goddess within. While documentation of this experience will form part of the exhibition, Pushpanjali will also be designing and making available a Guided Meditation entitled “The Goddess is my Body “ for visitors to experience for the duration of the exhibition.


The second curatorial intervention facilitated was a presentation and discussion led by psychologist and writer, Dr. Amrita Narayanan where she explored the psychological aspects of the archetypes and relevant extracts from the book " Women who run with the Wolves".


Special thanks to Rajendra Usapkar for the advice given on planning the Residency , to Dr. Amrita Narayanan for sharing her insights, to Gautam Nima for his generous help with documenting the conversations and the developments at the Residency and to Jushmi Barooah for aiding me with the transcription of my interviews.


About The Sacred Feminine : The Goddess and other Archetypes

The feminine is the matrix of creation. In nearly every ancient spiritual tradition, it is the Goddess who gives birth to the world and what pervaded was a divine balance of the masculine and feminine, of yin and yang. As time went by this ancient wisdom was mindlessly displaced, patriarchy loomed large , trampling out the divine feminine and with it the delicate underlying balance and harmony.


The wounds of this conflict are reflected in the individual and collective disconnect we experience from the very source of Life. At this juncture in the history of humankind, where conflict and violence are tearing us apart and ecological devastation threatens continued Life on this planet, the need of the hour is to remove the blinders of patriarchy and reclaim the Sacred Feminine both for our individual spirituality and for the well being of the planet.

The Sacred Feminine Residency and the works of art that have been made thereof are an attempt to hold space for this ancient wound and to usher in a healing of this chasm by reclaiming The Sacred Feminine. In order to invoke and reclaim the feminine’s deep understanding of the wholeness and interconnectedness of all of life we must then reconnect with the ancient feminine figure of the World Soul, the Anima Mundi as well as all the other embodiments of the Goddess and other feminine archetypes which exist in our collective unconscious.

Honouring the Sacred Feminine, in the spiritual sense, means valuing the feminine principle, along with the masculine principle, as equal and fundamental aspects of the Divine. This exhibition then is a call to look at this divine balance, to let it breathe and flow, to reconnect with it and heal the imbalance and the strife so that we do not pass on to our children the spiritual and physical wasteland that we have created for ourselves.