ã j. Madison Rink
24" x 9"
Archival Triptych Print
There is a centuries long, perhaps even hidden history covering some twenty thousand years, dating as far back as the Upper Palaeolithic art scene when the image of the Vagina was iconic, honored and revered as Sacred and Public Art. It was a powerful, socially significant, fertility enhancing, evil averting symbol and art, most of which was forcefully destroyed by the Christians during the 17th century.
This environmentally sculpted by Mother Nature triptych and image of the Vagina is entitled "at One." The concept of being One with Nature and therefore One with All is a consciously integrated theme in my body of art entitled “Primitive Nature.” This triptych symbolizes all women "At One" at this time in our history. I am now increasingly hopeful and greatly inspired by the ever increasing and united numbers of women's voices, supported by more men than ever, speaking up about the world wide and serious epidemic of violence and sexual assault against women and young girls. I have come to believe, since beginning to exhibit this particular image that a critical aspect of this chronic epidemic which surely contributes to the root of this escalating crisis is the way in which most people, including many women view the image of the Vagina. To many it is considered a taboo and more often than not reduced in perception to little more than blatant pornography. Why? We must reject this view that is shrouded in the misrepresentation that the vagina is a “vile, dirty and repugnant” image. Instead, we must re-claim the centuries long symbolic history and embrace the image of the vagina when it was greatly honored and revered as a sacred, healing, artful symbol; a representation of elegant beauty, balance, harmony and fertility from which all human life is birthed.
As a very young child who endured devastating sexual assault, the recognition and mirroring of this environmentally sculpted and natural human likeness in nature was a profoundly enlightening and healing experience for me. In the very moment I first viewed it, I was reminded of a mysteriously deep, kind of circular in nature physical, scientific and spiritual understanding which underscores an ancient concept; the idea that we are all One with Nature and as such we are One with ALL.
With this kind of healing clarity I was inspired to create a multicultural representation of the same rock subject, utilizing different lighting, in order that all women could see themselves reflected in nature in this elegantly beautiful, sacred and healing way.
It seems perfectly natural in 2018, as witness to the current cultural paradigm shift and rising Visible resistance to the epidemic of sexual assault perpetrated against women and girls in our society today; in honor of all women and men it is with great joy that with this exquisite environmentally sculpted, multicultural symbol of the Vagina that I choose to re-claim this extraordinary women's history as a fertility enhancing symbol; henceforth view the image of the Vagina as a symbol of healing and power once again honored and revered as "Sacred and Public Art." j. Madison Rink
Artist Statement and 10 signature images:
YALE, Beinecke Library, Women in Photography International Archives