BARBARA NERI Artist Statement


February 8, 2007

Venus of Willendorf: Redefining the Goddess exhibit

Duderstadt Gallery February 9 - 26, 2007


"Isis & Sylvia (Plath): Mirror Image" I have been extending the synergy of creative processes that The EBB Project is to other authors and one of them is Sylvia Plath. Sylvia Plath admired Elizabeth Barrett Browning's work and felt that EBB and Adrienne Rich were among the few she competed with for greatness.


This art object work was created in 2006 and is a part of the "Mirror Image Series." I knew the minute I found this vintage 1950's hand mirror that it was for Sylvia. It has two sides to reflect the dark and light moon sides of her deep being. Over Sylvia's right shoulder is an ancient image of Isis - one of the earliest and most significant incarnations of the Goddess. Barbara Neri mirror artwork




venus 2


This was actually on the wall in the photograph of Plath with her baby daughter, so it seems Sylvia had some interest in having Isis around. Over Sylvia's left shoulder I collaged a younger blond version of herself. On the backside of the mirror is Plath's poem "Mirror"printed below:



I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.

Whatever I see I swallow immediately

Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.

I am not cruel, only truthful -

The eye of a little god, four-cornered.

Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.

It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long

I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.

Faces and darkness separate us over and over.


Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,

Searching my reaches for what she really is.

Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.

I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.

She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.

I am important to her. She comes and goes.

Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.

In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman

Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.






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