“We do not want merely to see beauty… we want something else which can hardly be put into words- to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses, and nymphs and elves.”~ C. S. Lewis
The power and magic of the feminine energy and recognition of the power women have is more evident in the times we live in today and yet the goddess archetype has ever held this recognition.
Goddesses and nymphs were magnetic, powerful beautiful and skilled. But as in all stories, there is always another side to one, another layer that reveals a nuanced depth. This is where the myth of the present expression has much to add to the magical versions of the past.
Johan Alberts has activated this very notion of inner depths and succulent layers by homogenising the iconic painting by Joseph Henry Lynch aka JH Lynch: Woodland Goddess. The original artist was somewhat of a mystery until his death in 1989 but that didn’t prevent his paintings from having immense visual impact and the first of their kind to break the barriers of exclusivity in the art world.
Along with the creators of ‘kitsch’ Vladimir Tretchikoff and American Margaret Keane, JH Lynch created some of the most recognisable and reproduced artworks of all time.
If you loved the picture you could get a copy, easily. So much so that the British painter’s work was copied countless times and found in many households in the seventies and eighties.
Johan Alberts has inspired a new take on a much-loved image and by doing, demonstrated his keen eye for social nuance and the need to recreate the visual narratives that have prevailed to this point. His recent collection – Homogenised – worked with select artistic master’s classics and turned them into images that are statements about what is missing and what is hidden from the collective Eurocentric and exclusionary perspective of today.
Launched to the public on International Women’s Day it is interesting to reflect on the archetype that Jung identified in his exploration of the collective unconscious and human psychology. Each archetype has recognisable qualities, and the woodland nymph or goddess is representative of the siren, the mother – the Anima.
Another way of explaining Anima is a soul that has a female expression and form. In fairy tales she is highly seductive. From the cinematic kitsch of old, to the magic of now, this provocative image of the woodland goddess is looking at a different world and she is sassy and in full repose of her being.
Alberts’s inspiration has brought to the canvas a deeply significant visual narrative that will inspire a new understanding of the goddess and what she represents.
follow him on his Instagram @johanalbertsart