Finalist, The 65th Blake Prize
Saltcellars (2017) was one of 80 finalists, selected from 769 entries by Australian and international artists. The Blake Prize is one of Australia's longest running art awards and focuses on ideas of religion and spirituality expressed through art. The 65th Blake Prize was hosted by Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC) in Casula, NSW in an exhibition from 12 May to 1 July 2018. For more information about the award, visit CPAC's website.
My Artist Statement for Saltcellars (2017) is included below:
'Saltcellars (2017) is a motif of maternal lament. It is part of a larger body of work that seeks to critique traditional images of the mother in Christian religious art and generate new ‘icons’ that might more fully, ethically represent real maternal experience.
Carl Jung states that salt ‘pervades all things’. It is abundant and universal. In his volume called Mysterium Coniunctionis, he writes, ‘Apart from its lunar wetness and its terrestrial nature, the most outstanding properties of salt are bitterness and wisdom... The factor common to both, however incommensurable the two ideas may seem, is, psychologically, the function of feeling. Tears, sorrow, and disappointment are bitter, but wisdom is the comforter in all psychic suffering.’ (Jung 1970, 241)
My Saltcellars functions to preserve and offer a taste of both the bitterness of maternal lament and the wisdom of love that enables the mother to survive it. In this way, it contrasts the opposition of bitterness and wisdom that Jung describes, where one excludes the other, with salt cast as ‘the carrier of this fateful alternative’ (Jung 1970, 246). Saltcellars suggests that bitterness and wisdom exist at once in a woman’s maternal experience. Her body feels both.'
Rebekah Pryor, May 2018
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