Top image: Venus Aquatilis 9 x 12 feet (108 cm x 365 cm)
Above left to right: Venus Temporis (Venus of Time) 15 x 11 in (38 x 28 cm); Venus Abolitionis (Venus of Abolition) 20.5 x 24 in. (55 x 61 cm) and Venus Sui (Self Venus) 65 x 47 in (165 x 119 cm)
Above: Venus Sirenusae (Mermaid Venus / Siren Venus) 30 x 80 in. (76 x 203 cm)
Clockwise from top left: Venus Asiaticus (Asian Venus) 102 x 43 in (259 x 109 cm); Venus Degentium (Venus Diaspora) 36 x 24 in (91 x 61 cm); Venus Maris (Venus of the Sea) 72 x 30 in (183 x 76 cm) and Venus ex Tabulae (Venus of Maps) 28 x 22 in (71 x 56 cm)
Video (below): #9
Venus Aquatilis (Underwater Venus), 9 x 12 feet (2.7 x 3.6 meters)
Check out this great video
ABOUT THE VENUS SERIES
The clichés of art being self-portraits and love letters are true for the Venus Series. This series was envisioned while traveling in the Mediterranean. The ancient art and architecture from thousands of years ago, its monumental scale, as well as my being lucky enough to view it, kept me in 24-7 awe.
Being in the presence of the ubiquitous Venus sculptures throughout Greece and Italy somehow conveyed to me the connectedness of all women throughout history.
Some of the Venuses in these collages may resemble those in classical art, but these are strong women with a renewed sense of agency not always seen in classical art.
Each Venus bears a Latin name so as not to be identified as being authentic to any single country or geographical area.
Maps are beautiful standing alone and may be enhanced when sentimental value from a trip or other remembrance is attached to them. The first three Venuses of this series were collaged from maps of my own travels. Since then, others have generously given me their own maps, through which I vicariously enjoy every scribbled note and stain of spilt coffee. No two Venuses of this series are alike, as my nature is to try a fresh and different design approach with each new piece. The works of this series range in scale from 15 x 11 inches to 9 x 12 feet. Some are collaged onto paper, and others onto canvas. The Venuses range from playful and joyful, to serious. They are all an expression of what I have experienced myself as a woman living and traveling in this world. The Venus Series uses maps in unexpected ways to take us on unexpected journeys.
Venus Temporis (Venus of Time) 2022 15 x 11 in (38 x 28 cm)
The first Venus of the series, Venus Temporis (Venus of Time), celebrates women's timeless and global connectedness. Acknowledging feminine beauty, knowledge, strength and goodness, the concept for this collage particular had been visualized while the artist traveled. After returning home and back in the studio, the collage was created. What was not anticipated was even though the timetables and train schedules used in the collage were taken from maps, the collage was not being easily recognizable as being made from maps. This Venus gets her name from the time tables.
Venus ex Tabulae (Venus of Maps) 2022 28 x 22 in (71 x 56 cm)
The second Venus, Venus ex Tabulae (Venus of Maps), is a redo of the first Venus with the intention of being quickly recognizable as being made from maps. This Venus also pays homage to the timeless and global connectedness of women, celebrating her beauty, knowledge, strength and goodness.
Venus Maris (Venus of the Sea) 2023 72 x 30 in (183 x 76 cm)
Wanting to work larger than prior Venuses of the series, this collage is a life-sized Venus. Making a collage using maps with the intention of creating a three-dimentional form is meticulous and time consuming work. This Venus is named for the sea since she is made from maps of various coastal towns in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece.
Venus Sui (Self Venus) 2023 65 x 47 in (165 x 119 cm)
Wanting to work significantly larger than life-size, I created a 5-foot tall head for the fourth Venus. My goal was to create a face that didn’t identify with any specific ethnicity - which has lead me to now wonder if such a face exists. I started the collage using beautiful blues and lavender to create her facial features. But rather than looking like she could be any ethnicity to me she looked European. Needing to divert from my original plan and realizing that she coincidentally had been made from maps of places where I have lived, I turned her into a self-portrait. Hence the name Venus Sui (Self Venus).
Venus Degentium (Venus Diaspora) 2023 36 x 24 in (91 x 61 cm)
The fifth Venus, Venus Degentium (Diaspora Venus), represents the African diaspora (separation from ancestral homeland). The figure and face of this Venus celebrates African femininity, in contrast to the classical Greek and Roman feminine ideal. Her long curly hair is made from a collage of the United States. She stands regally upon an open book (truth and knowledge) / lotus flower (serenity) / half-shell (beauty). The two-page spread shows a map of the world misleadingly entitled, “The Age of Discovery”. She is unchained, but the pages of the book are bound together with chains representing our inescapable tie to our nation’s history. She wears a halo in homage to generations of suffering and martyrdom as a result of the slave trade. In her hand she holds the continent of Africa in a loose grip.
Venus Asiaticus (Asian Venus) 2023 102 x 43 in (259 x 109 cm)
The sixth Venus, Venus Asiaticus (Asian Venus), stands the tallest so far – 8 ½ feet! She celebrates all Asian women and is not limited to a specific area or country. Her elegant hands, held in an offset position, symbolize serenity and were inspired by wood carvings.
Venus Sirenusae (Mermaid Venus / Siren Venus) 2023 30 x 80 in. (76 x 203 cm)
The most playful of the Venuses, Venus Sirenusae (Mermaid Venus / Siren Venus), was inspired by a boating trip to The Sirenusas Islands, off the Amalfi coast of Italy. What a thrill to learn that the tiny islands we know from Homer’s Odyssey really do exist! In Greek mythology sirens lured sailors to destruction by the sweetness of their song. Medieval interpretations depicted the sirens as mermaids. How fun that the Latin word for mermaid is syreni. Hence, Venus Sirenusa’s double-barreled English name: Mermaid Venus and Siren Venus. She is a life-sized mermaid (if such a thing exists), and the first of the Venus series to be represented in a reclining position. She wears a starfish crown, sunglasses, and a bikini top made from maps of the United States. Perched on a floating map of the world she rides a wave under a radiant sun.
Venus Abolitionis (Venus of Abolition) 2023 20.5 x 24 in. (55 x 61 cm)
Venus Abolitionis (Venus of Abolition) uses vintage maps of Paris and New York City symbolizing little known facts about the history of the Statue of Liberty:
Originally named La Liberté Éclairant le Monde (Liberty Enlightening the World), the statue was proposed by the French abolitionist Edouard de Laboulaye to commemorate emancipation - the end of slavery in the United States. Ironically, because of segregation no Blacks were allowed to attend the dedication ceremony on October 28, 1886. No women were allowed to attend either.
Venus Aquatilis (Underwater Venus)
2023, 9 x 12 feet (2.7 x 3.6 meters)
The 9th of the Venus Series playfully celebrates the flora and fauna of a coral reef. Swimming towards the ocean floor accompanied by a sea turtle Venus Aquatilis observes a giant sea fan, schools of fish, corals, sponges, a starfish, jellyfish and even an octopus.
This collage plays with Mother Nature’s repetition of visual patterns: Rivers and coastlines on maps become the veins and edges of a giant sea fans. A map of English Channel was transformed into the torso, head and flowing hair of Venus using surprisingly little modifications.
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