I wish to create a sculpture of the Great Goddess as a temple that can be entered. The sculptural thrust of the piece will be twofold: an outside earth mound and an inside negative shape of a female figure giving birth. The exterior earth mound, approximately 25 feet high and 74 feet in diameter, will be covered in wild grass. The inside figure made of concrete will be approximately 22 feet high and 14 feet wide. The figure will be squatting in a birth-giving position, her legs spread apart and drawn to the sides, with her arms tightly clenched under her knees. The floor of the figure will be 3.5 feet underground, and will be entered through a passageway leading from the outside doorway directly into the figure's vagina. The inside will be painted an overall red ochre color with swirling black spiral designs and pictographs.
In 1980 I created a similar work in smaller scale. The structure entitled The GG was built in my backyard. It was made of paper mâché in a double-shell construction on a wooden and wire armature. The outside measurements were 24 feet by 14 feet by 8.5 feet high. It represented the negative shape of a reclining female figure, six times life-size, lying on her side, one arm draped along her hips, her legs disappearing into the earth below her knees. The exterior of the figure was concealed by the outside structure having the appearance of a large irregular-shaped rock. A recessed red oval doorway represented the figure's navel. The piece was meant as a temporary structure - as an experimental mock-up. After twenty years the piece was torn down. This was to be the first of a series of large outdoor sculptures focusing on internal space.
Both piecesThe GG and the proposed structure, The Goddess Mound - were inspired by Maltese and Scottish temples and tombs from the Neolithic period, which I studied for my doctoral dissertation, Megalithic Sculptures that Symbolize the Great Goddess. The form, location, internal spatial arrangements, associated finds, inscriptions, and sheer number of Maltese and Scottish structures suggest strong religious beliefs centered on a deity of death and fertility - a goddess. Megalithic monuments from the Neolithic period abound throughout Western Europe. Many are tombs covered with a mound or cairn and some have decorated interior spaces. These structures were used as tombs over generations. Rituals were enacted outside in front of the structures.
I believe the creation of such a structure is very important now in this era of growing attention to woman's place in history. Scholars in all fields are doing research from a feminist perspective and making valuable discoveries about the heretofore overlooked contributions of women throughout history. They are looking at old data from various disciplines and arriving at enlightened new conclusions, expanding our consciousness about what is valuable and precious in human endeavor.
The Great Goddess, who was the supreme deity of early Neolithic and even Paleolithic peoples in Europe and Asia, is reemerging in the twenty-first century as an apt symbol of women's growing consciousness and importance. The need to make the Goddess accessible as an embodiment of feminine sensibility is extremely important in this world of growing militarism.
I believe such a sculpture will reinforce our thinking about architecture as habitable sculpture in harmony with the environment, and about sculpture as a symbolic embodiment of the Goddess presence and character, which forms an architectural whole with the landscape and is related to human need. Sculpture in the Western world has lost the mystical, magical presence that it had during the Neolithic period when a temple or a sculpture was considered to be the body of the deity. In creating my sculpture, I wish to bring back some of this magic and mystery. I want to create a space that inspires mystery; that evokes the dark caves of the Goddess - places of rebirth and revitalized consciousness.
Designed as an Experience and an Inspiration
Dr. Biaggi and her supporters find this work her most challenging and globally significant. The Goddess Mound is spiritually and intellectually provocative in the very best sense. The formal and spiritual connections to ancient myths and cultures, the revitalization of the concept of architecture in harmony with the environment, and the emphasis on women's place in history can serve as an inspiration for women everywhere.
Cristina Biaggi's Dream
Efforts to find a suitable site are underway, but at the present time the Goddess remains "homeless. We have certain possibilities pending, but we are not limiting this project to just one site. Dr. Biaggi has taken her mission to the Internet in the hope that there will be individuals or far-sighted institutions willing to share her vision for the construction of the Goddess Mound. Patterned on Goddess temples around the world, this sculpture and structure is designed to celebrate every woman's life-giving force, courageous spirit and limitless potential. For its objective to be achieved, the Goddess Mound requires approximately one-third of an acre of level land and a location accessible to visitors. Please see (clickable) Project Specifications for the Goddess Mound requirements.
How You Can Help
It is Dr. Biaggi's hope that forward-thinking individuals, museums or educational institutions who share her vision will emerge and help make the Goddess Mound a reality. In your own circle, or in the marvelously vast reaches of cyberspace, do you know someone willing to share Dr. Biaggi's vision? Please e-mail your thoughts and suggestions of possible contacts. With your help, we will build the Goddess Mound and make it a place of solace and inspiration.
The time has come.