1993, 36”(h) x 30” (w), Collage/drawings
The series of works entitled “Femalines” numbering 1 – 12 depicts transformations between cats (wild and “domestic” ,) and women. These works explore the powerful energy and dynamic relationship between females and felines. The installation incorporates these visual images, light, sound and touch.
Dichotomous terms are used interchangeably to describe women and cats –soft, delicate yet unpredictable, powerful, feminine, seductive, protective, mysterious, beautiful, sometimes gentle, sometimes treacherous, sly, stealthy, secretive, tame, untamable, nocturnal, lunar, catlike, graceful, survivor. The attraction to each other is undeniable. Throughout time itself — the bond between women and cats is strong.
The role and status of woman and cat, female and feline is ever changing between the sacred and the profane. Tales, legends and history record some of this. From the demigoddess of Bastet, the Egyptian goddess, symbolized by the cat, the giver of bountiful harvests, fertility and happiness to the sacred status of motherhood, and the fertile mother who brings a life into the world (the Virgin Mary), we find the revered sacred status of woman and cats. From the demimonde devil of Eve “the Evil Temptress” from the Bible to the vast numbers of “evil” cats hated during the Middle Ages of Europe, we find the abhorred profane status of women and cats. This is the paradox in which women and cats find themselves.
The female spirit, the goddess spirit is caged–trapped in our present day culture. As female goddesses in past “pagan” cultures were worshipped and revered, so also was the cat or feline elevated in status. As the feline becomes more revered and gains status in our society, so does woman, and vice versa.
Quoting theologian and philosopher Mary Daly from her new book Outer Course– The Bedazzling Voyage , ”The more we recognize and develop our unique Elemental powers, the more powerfully we can communicate with each other and Act in the world.”