Sunday, June 3, 2012

Of Virgins- Greenwood Street Project



We are happy to announce the new exhibition "Of Virgins" at Greenwood Street Project supervised by Brent Harris

This exhibition explores of the notion of “the virgin” through painting, printmaking, drawing, installation and poetry; the various mediums and artists who employ them respond to ideas of immaculate virgins but also the virgin as the symbol of the impossible, the possible and the potent.

The artists included are Michael Graf, Rosslynd Piggott and Kiki Smith with new works by Brent Harris and Helen Johnson.  A suite of sonnets have been composed for this exhibition by Justin Clemens.

Foreword by Justin Clemens - Virgin
The etymology of the word ‘virgin’ is extremely interesting. One reputable etymological dictionary provides the following information: ‘virgo, ĭnis, f. root varg-; Sanscr. ūrg, strength, ūrga-jami, nourish; Gr. ὀργάω, to swell, ὀργή, impulse.’ One can immediately see the original senses of natural power and nourishment, the burgeoning of capacities for fruitfulness in the term. Samuel Johnson’s famous Dictionary of the English Language gives the noun four meanings: 1) A maid; a woman unacquainted with men; 2) A woman not a mother; 3) Any thing untouched or unmingled; any thing pure; 4) The sign of the zodiac in which the sun is in August. Examples of uses of the word are given, notably from Shakespeare: ‘Angelo is an adult’rous thief,/An hypocrite, a virgin violator.’ Western art would be impossible without virgins, without the Virgin. Indeed, the Virgin is the very emblem of the impossible: maternity without male matter. Sometimes the Virgin is the Christian transubstantiation of the pagan Muses, to be invoked as inspiration and protection; sometimes she is the privileged ur-subject of all representations; sometimes she is the alibi for experimental transgressions. Virgin: the impossible paradigm of human creative power.

Greenwood Street Project is a creative initiative under the supervision of Donald Holt & Tomislav Nikolic, located in Abbotsford, Victoria.


The exhibition is on view 2-6 Thursdays and Friday and by appointment during June with the final day of the exhibition July 6, 2012 

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