anne russell
anne russell art
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about the artist
oracle: twisted

oracle: pythia

The Oracle series started as a contemplation of the idea of woman as vessel. Vessel, meaning a container, a conduit, a ship: all of its many meanings. I'm also interested in the female body and the female form as it is so often depicted, as an object, a static thing to be observed and judged. In each example in the Oracle series, the figures have open mouths where you would least expect them, and they are talking back to the viewer in no uncertain terms. To me, they are solemn, wise, earthy and vocal, speaking to us from the deepest places in the body and in the ground.

The priestess at the Oracle at Delphi was known as the Pythia. So the Oracle was the place, but also the person charged with conveying the prophecy. Often the Oracle's statements were ambiguous at best, open to several interpretations.

I was told recently (after completing this piece) that the figure-as-face concept is one that recurs periodically in various art forms, beginning with the earliest times. For me, it began with the open mouth centered in the hara - the root chakra, the pelvis, the seat of power. Just the act of creating that opening felt like the most powerful voice imaginable, opened into the world.

"I count the grains of sand on the beach and measure the sea;
I understand the speech of the dumb and hear the voiceless."

- the Pythia (the Oracle at Delphi)