Earth Goddesses, by Ayala Reznik, AIR 2018

 

 

Within hours of her arrival on Gabriola Island earlier this month, Ayala Reznik warmed our hearts and captivated us with her range of talents and stunning creativity.

Ayala is a Toronto-based sculptor and multi-media artist whose recent work explores the representation of the female body, particularly through the aesthetics of the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras, and its contemporary relevance in considering issues of abuse, trauma and rehabilitation.

Enjoy this 5-minute highlight video as she continues her Earth Goddess journey on our beautiful island - natural sculptures, photography, writing and music by Ayala Reznik.

More about Ayala and her work at AyalaReznik.com.

Follow her on Instagram @ayala_reznik.

More about our artist-in-residence program at haven.ca/AIR.

 


Earth Goddesses, by Ayala Reznik.

I grew up in a small town on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in Israel, at the foot of the Carmel Mountains. I moved to Toronto about 8 years ago.

Coming to Gabriola Island, I found a beautiful magical little micro-cosmos, full of artists and generous people, as well as a mother earth life-giving landscape. All of that inspired me to create this series of Earth Goddesses. Ayala Reznik - tree goddess Building on the same methodology I’ve been using so far – sculpting figurines or goddesses – I’m doing it now with what the landscape provide me with, the organic forms and material I’m finding around me.

I would say that the art I’m making is very much inspired by prehistoric art and culture, and specifically my interest in the goddess archetype and female figurines from that ancient era.

I see these figurine forms of prehistoric times as the genesis of a conception of the female body: in how the female body is seen, by herself and others, throughout time.

Archaeologist and anthropologist Maria Gimbutas, whose research focuses on this ancient female figurines, describes the goddess archetype in these words: "According to the myriad images that have survived from the great span of the human prehistory on the Eurasian continents, it was the sovereign mystery and creative power of the female as a source of life that developed into the earliest religious experiences. The Great Mother Goddess, who gives birth to all creation out of the darkness of her womb, became a metaphor for Nature herself, the cosmic giver and taker of life, ever able to renew Herself within the eternal cycle of life, death, and rebirth." (Gimbutas 222)

The capacity of the Goddess for self-renewal within a cycle that includes destruction and rebirth – to ‘create out of inner darkness’ – is crucial for understanding the restorative force that channeling this archetype brings to the process of healing through art that I tend to explore though my own creations. Ayala Reznik - seaweed goddessThe Goddess for me, is the power that is embedded in everything around us and deep inside ourselves.

It can reveal itself in destruction just as well as creation, and most beautifully, it will expose itself if you are willing to allow it, as a medium connecting between these two realms of destruction and creation. From the darkness of destruction the Goddess will manifest itself in the emergence of new - that thing that has been longing to be born.

When we look up at the night sky, at the stars, we look deep into history. And just as I’m interested in our ancient heritage coming from our prehistoric ancestors, I’m also interested in the heritage written in the night sky.

If our ancestors left their message on the cave’s wall or in some forms and shapes of sculptures, the night sky and, this universe we live in, also passes down messages to us.

The first thing that comes to mind, is that we are physically made out of stardust - carbon based life - which makes us no different from these shiny stars we admire, at least in some aspects.

We are stardust - it’s not just a hippie slogan, it’s science.Ayala Reznik - starburst goddess

That being said, if we let ourselves dive into the history of this cosmos, we’ll come to learn that all stars in the sky are born out of massive chaos and sometimes tragic explosion, or death of other stars.

Only out of this tragical event can the new emerge and shine upon us. Translating that back into planet earth, or into my daily life and perceptions, I see how my history of tragedies or my past with violence and abuse brought me into a place in my life where I could be born again.

Only out of this challenge and chaos, could I heal myself, and shine again like a bright star.

~ Ayala Reznik, April 2018

 


More about Ayala and her work at AyalaReznik.com.

Follow her on Instagram @ayala_reznik.

More about our artist-in-residence program at haven.ca/AIR.