2006, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 50", by Jenny Badger Sultan
Hestia is one of three paintings partly prompted by the title of a book I’d heard of but hadn't read, “Healing Image--the Great Black One.” The series started at the time of the summer solstice, when we start the Journey to the Dark. Each painting began with a black gesso ground, unusual for me. First came Voices from the Abyss, then Hestia, and last, In the Garden: Gifts of the Mothers.
Hestia began with a brief vision of a large floating black shape surrounded by wings. I was reminded of the bundle in Little St. Bridget and also thought of the Kaaba, the black stone in the central shrine in Mecca.
I worked out a number of ideas in drawings and came up with one of a large woman with a fire in her lap--Hestia, the Greek goddess with whom I identify the most. She became the central figure in the painting. Hestia is meant to comfort, help and heal.
I just came across a dream from August 1, 1991:
In a group of people. I don’t recall what goes before--it must be something about talking about who we identify with, or how we see ourselves.
I say "I identify with Hestia, the goddess of the hearth--she (I) likes to stay at home, feels very comfortable in her home, likes to be alone, enjoys the things of home."
Feeling this rather keenly and intensely.