It must have been those red boots I bought my first day in Paris. Or the synchronicity of running into Mary’s old friends in a West Bank Cafe. Or the wonderful exhibition, Crossing Borders, in Ghent, Belgium I was in where we attended the opening and met new artist friends. Or more than likely, my one simple question, “Are there any Neolithic goddess sites in Austria?” that led to my visiting the infamous Venus of Willendorf at the Natural History Museum – inspiration for the Sculpture to come…
I believe in synchronicity, or “meaningful coincidences,” and that being open to possibilities is key. You have to say yes to the Universe to receive gifts that come “out of the blue.” Last year’s trip to Europe was full of such magic; good luck certainly came my way and all seemed part of a divine plan.
My newest public sculpture, Throne for a Goddess, installed in Austria in September, has launched a fundraiser to benefit a Mexican based non-profit organization that empowers women through education – Mujeres en Cambio (Women in Change). Visit their website to learn more about their good work.
“This project is all about empowering and honoring women – from the ancient to the present”.
Since I couldn’t be in Austria for the opening due to covid travel restrictions, I wanted to raise awareness of my newest public sculpture and offer something locally as well. To that end, I created a beautiful golden print that reflects the imagery of the sculpture and benefits young women. I partnered with the San Miguel de Allende non-profit, Mujeres en Cambio, and offered them 40% of the sales.
Mujeres en Cambio was a logical choice since they empower young women in rural communities by offering scholarships for their education. In Mexico, education is only free through the 6th grade. In 2019 the organization gave scholarships to 187 girls from 46 villages in rural San Miguel. V.P. Trish Leaven said, “these times are greatly affecting how NGO’s like ours continue to raise funds to support our young women, so offers like hers (Glen’s) are truly appreciated.”
The Throne for a Goddess commemorative print is 11.5” x 8.5” and is an archival, limited edition digital print, signed and numbered by the artist. The prints are $100USD or $2100 MXN each. Your Purchase of a Print Empowers Young Women Through Education! Purchase your print on my website:glenrogersart.com
The Seed of an Idea becomes a Reality
So how did this public sculpture come about? In September 2019, I was in Europe for a group exhibition in Ghent, Belgium called Crossing Borders. After the show, my friend and I traveled to Austria where we visited her cousins in Vienna and later her extended family in Weiz in the beautiful countryside of Styria.
Sitting around the dinner table on our first night in Vienna, I asked our hosts if there were any Neolithic Goddess sites to explore nearby. (Visiting sacred sites is a passion of mine, one that I’ve been pursuing for many years, thus my book, Art and Sacred Sites: Connecting with Spirit of Place.) To my utter surprise, they told me that the Venus of Willendorf, one of the oldest and most celebrated Paleolithic goddess sculptures, was housed in The Natural History Museum in Vienna. With a feeling of reverence and excitement, we paid her a visit the very next day! Housed in a special room with only a few other artifacts, the Venus was incased in a glass cube – all 6” of her. She was exquisitely carved in stone during the ice age, almost 30,000 years ago, and was discovered in Willendorf, lower Austria in 1908.
The Venus of Willendorf has become an icon for women everywhere, with her characteristic voluptuous shape, she is a fertility symbol honoring women as life-givers. She is an archetype that points to ancient goddess cultures and matriarchal societies. For me, this image of the Great Mother is a symbol of female empowerment, a reminder of who we are and where we came from.
Kunstpark St. Ruprecht/Raab sculpture park:
During our stay in Austria, our host took us to Weiz, and on the way, stopped to show us a new sculpture park in St. Ruprecht/Raab where he had a piece. The park which is beautifully laid out like a giant peace symbol, already had 20 to 25 sculptures by local artists. We met Wolfgang Neffe, the initiator of the park and shortly after, I made a proposal. I wanted to honor the Venus of Willendorf, this Austrian artifact that symbolizes the Sacred Feminine – the primary motivation for my art for many years.
The sculpture was fabricated in Austria by the Binder Company where I worked closely with Jitka Derler, an artist herself. Jitka totally related to the goddess imagery that was the basis for the work and we worked well together inspite of our language barrier and the physical distance between us. Throne for a Goddess was installed at Kunstpark St. Ruprecht/Raab on September 9th, 2020.
Throne for a Goddess is an interactive sculpture where visitors are invited to sit and feel the energy of the Great Mother: Rest in the Warm Embrace of the Goddess, the Great Mother, the Divine Feminine. Feel Her Nurturing Love and Offer of Abundance and Prosperity. Sit in Her Lap of Fertility and Plant a Seed for your Dreams and New Beginnings.
More of my public sculpture can be seen on my website: Beacon, Campbell, CA; Three Wings, Stockton, CA; Web of Life, Chico, CA; Spirit Gate and Meditation Bench, San Jose, CA. https://www.glenrogersart.com/sculpture-