The Green Woman
Many years ago I developed an affinity for an age-old symbol, the Green Man, who embodied my sentiments towards the natural world and captured the spirit of the way I lead my life. He is characterized by foliage covering his face and sprouting from his mouth. This symbol bridges the gap and creates a spiritual link between human existence and the forces of nature. However, through recent exploration into the meaning and historical significance of the Green Man, and after a personal transformation of my own, I realized I can no longer relate to the masculine symbol. I endeavored to create a feminine symbol that speaks to the same spiritual elements.
I painted portraits of four women who embody the characteristics of the Green Woman and are environmental healers. These portraits are rendered in the style of the Green Man, the faces surrounded with plant life that has symbolic significance specific to each individual. Representing the symbol of the Green Man as a woman parallels with and sheds light on the philosophy of ecofeminism, which integrates ecology with feminism and stresses social change through environmental healing. In transforming the Green Man into a Green Woman, I pay homage to ecofeminism, depict the female journey of transformation and empowerment, and express my own personal journey. In this way, the Green Woman is a powerful reminder of the lineage of women who have passed down ancient knowledge of our relationship to the earth, and of the wisdom of women in my life, who continue that tradition and in turn inspire me to do the same.
A connection to the earth is necessary especially in times of increased technological reliance and I see the Green Woman as a powerful reminder of this connection. I hope to draw a link between ancient deities who represented the strength of the natural world and the women of today who bring awareness to environmental health.