Rose Wognum Frances

Birth, Death, and Regeneration:

Marija Gimbutas Beholds the Bird and Snake Goddesses of Old Europe

Paint on canvas and wood, gold leaf, sculpted clay vessels, copper 47”H x 27”W x 4”D with doors open Archaeomythology Series #4 2001

The central image is a portrait of Archaeomythologist Marija Gimbutas, as seen in a dream.  In my dream, we met in the dappled light under an ancient tree, and conversed about the bird and snake goddesses, as depicted in clay sculptures she unearthed in her archaeological digs in the region she named Old Europe. Above her, dancing Neolithic Cucuteni bird goddesses with incised markings seem to sprout wings.  In the painting below, Cucuteni Snake Goddesses, found together in a pot, gather in a circle around an omphalos vessel. In the arch above, a temple model with a bird head, incised with a serpentine labyrinth, beckons with its door to mysterious darkness. The temple is flanked by clay pots—and owl urn and a snake urn. On the doors are characters from the not fully translated sacred script Marija compiled from countless examples inscribed on clay artifacts.

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