Venus in Clay

This week Winns Gallery in Lloyd Park is hosting ‘4 Women in Aquelarre’ – an exhibition by four local artists, including Blackhorse member Yanire Sylva Delgado. Presenting ceramics, prints and books, Yanire aims to explore issues of guilt, morality, burial ceremonies and seeking peace through closure.

Yanire invited members of the public to take part in the final part of her exhibition by making Venus Valdivia Totems out of clay. These small figurines from Yanire’s native Ecuador were discovered in burial sites 2300 years ago and are thought to be symbols of fertility.

Yanire asked the participants to visualise themselves onto the clay to produce a symbol of their own feminine and earthly side. The shape of the clay dictated the form of the head with details then added to shape the stout and shortened body. The figures at times can take on the appearance of a small doll or more abstract forms. Details like the impression of a spine or the rounded breasts or tummy also manifested in the clay, inspired by the original totems. The finished totems will travel with Yanire and grown into a larger collection as they are added to.

You can see 4 Women in Aquelarre at Winns Gallery until 13th May.