My Portable Pop-up Altar exists at the intersection of Sacred Art and Art Book.
The project began after finding a strange book at the Library HINDU ALTARS, A Pop-Up Gallery. I was immediately fascinated and then delighted by this unexpected discovery from the stacks. I thought to myself "This could be a fun way to travel with the deities that are sacred to me!" And so before the pandemic began I tentatively started the project live with my viewers on Twitch. And then COVID happened.
Working on a Portable Altar seemed less pressing with the travel bans and common sense advice to shelter-in-place. Months have gone by and here in the states the ability to travel seems more and more distant a possibility. So to brighten my spirits I dusted off the pile of papers to begin working on the Portable Pop-Up Altar again, even though it could be months before I get to try it out on the road.
After some consideration I settled on crafting an altar to the archetypal goddesses of Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
The Hindu Altar book that sparked my inspiration features four Hindu Deities. The art in the book is beautiful, but I am not Hindu and do not resonate strongly with the Hindu Pantheon. I have been pondering on the pick-and-choose pantheons of modern witches and pagans, a practice that until recently I had also participated in without much thought. After reading Witches, Pagans, and Cultural Appropriation by The Anchor & The Star Zine I have been more mindful of which Goddesses are appropriate to incorporate into my craft and which ones may belong to a culture that would be inappropriate to worship. After some consideration I settled on crafting an altar to the archetypal goddesses of Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
I have never created a pop-up book before so started with a more familiar process. I began by creating the backgrounds, or Landscapes, that each Goddess would reside in. I collaged found images, hand made paper, ephemera from previous mixed media creations, and gelli prints into the backgrounds for the three Goddesses. I especially loved adding the ephemera, such as acrylic stamped eyes from the Iris Invocation Painting I created last year, and experimental gelli prints from the Venus Invocation Paintings I finished during Venus Retrograde.
For the Maiden Landscape I started with a copper background. Copper is the metal correspondence for Venus in astrology, and I often associate Venus, Aphrodite, Inanna, and the astrological aspects of the Morning and Evening Star with the Maiden Goddess. I also wove flowers and gemstones through the landscape.
For the Mother Landscape I wanted to weave imagery of abundance, grand vision, and creative spark. This Landscape became my favorite of the three, it is filled with so much dynamism and life.
Roots, Night, Magick, Wisdom, and Gratitude express themselves for me through the Crone. This is the Goddess I call upon to connect with my Ancestors. The imagery of this Landscape revolved around the evocative image of the branching tree.
This week I will be painting the images of each Goddess to be incorporated into the Pop-Up. I will be Live on Twitch Tuesday from 1:00-4:00 mtn and Wednesday 10:30-2:00 mtn. Follow along and witness the process of creation in real-time. No account is necessary to watch. Easily create a free account to participate in chat.