The Witches Marks
Over the years (since 2014) I have researched witchhunts, female knowledges, opression on female gender and its connection to superstition and capitalism.
These shapes are also an interpretation of the last breaths of Swedish Småländska women once tortured and killed (1550-1626). Each configurations refers to the silencing and eradication of these womens voices and lives. I wanted to make them stand tall one last time. A memory of all who those who have been here before us.
Each shape is made from molten sand i.e. glass liquid handblown with glassblower Peter Kuchinke at the Glassfactory in Sweden, part of Småland. It's important for me to always connect geology, time and matter with contexts in making visual comments on past or future ideas and systems.
The markings acts as scars and are so called witches marks, once used to scare off witches and evil. However these symbols are much older by some 4000 years. They derive from Egypt and was markings for good luck or against evil. I wanted to re-appropriate these once again, and give protection and strength for these women as they are remembered and ushered on, away from earthly bounds.
Fact: when a woman could be 'recognised' to be a witch by her executioner they would be allowed to torture the women before any beheading, burning or drowning them (Sweden, Småland 1550).
I have also made objects in porcelain that look like recognisable tools and objects, but here specifically refer to the degrading of these womens bodies.
Chain- was used for the so called water test. Chained up, the naked the women where hosted down into a lake. If they float they prove to be a witch and were sent to the fire. Unless 'helped' noone floated. Most sunk, and drowned.
Another thing was shaving off their hair and pubes. It was thought power were in the growth of hair. But being shaved was a visual account of being accused, and so kept fear and violence alive. I've made ceramic mouth / throats which releases long lengths of hair.