Birth marks

March 28, 2011

Aphrodite lifts her foaming mouth to the beach
and steps from her shell.

M.C. Richards from “A Westerner Visits Australia”

My guess is that, aside from poet M.C. Richards, most museum goers would look at ‘The Birth of Venus’ by Odilon Redon (1840-1916) and not be fully aware that Redon’s use of the sea shell wasn’t purely decorative, but used as a potent symbol of the vulva in his depiction of Venus’ (or Aphrodite’s) birth.

This week, friend and colleague Douglas Webster and I went to Roaring Beach to find our own examples of tidal rock formations that carry the signature of our Earth Mother Gaia. We weren’t disappointed.

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