home - bio - statement - art galleries: dreams - goddesses - nature - inner - on paper - composites - by date - A-Z

Memory of our Dark Mother

2001, acrylic on canvas, 37 x 48", by Jenny Badger Sultan

Acrylic painting, 'Memory of our Dark Mother', by Jenny Badger Sultan. Click to enlarge

This painting began with laying on colors and patterns relating to African and Egyptian motifs and fabrics. I used a resist process where I would paint or stamp a pattern with transparent acrylic mixed with a lot of medium then scrape over it another transparent color, allowing the first color to shine through. I layered additional deep transparent colors and introduced accidental textures and printed snakeskin.

After a while the image of a large Mother figure began to emerge in the center of the painting.

Other female figures appeared and I developed them, some relating to African sculpture, others from my own sources. I had been very moved by reading in the newspaper several years ago that the mitochondrial DNA record suggests that we are all descended from one mother in Africa. I was feeling my relationship to this maternal ancestor as I worked.

My imagination had also been stirred by the finding of fossilized footprints made in wet sand in Laetoli, in Tanzania, which indicated a woman and child from the time of the first humans had walked there together.

To relate myself to this amazing trace I stepped in paint and planted my own footprint on the canvas.


Detail of acrylic painting, 'Memory of our Dark Mother', by Jenny Badger Sultan. Detail of acrylic painting, 'Memory of our Dark Mother', by Jenny Badger Sultan. Detail of acrylic painting, 'Memory of our Dark Mother', by Jenny Badger Sultan.
home - bio - statement - art galleries: dreams - goddesses - nature - inner - on paper - composites - by date - A-Z