Symbolism of the Deer

In Northern European Folklore animals are believed to be endowed with supernatural powers and the deer - stag or hind - was considered to be a mystical guardian of the forest. According to Celtic myth, Otherworld deities sent a white hind or stag to guide chosen humans into their realm. They were believed to appear to humans at the beginning of a change or a journey. The appearance of the white hart was a sign to Arthur and its knights, that it was time to embark on a quest. It was considered the one animal that could never be caught so it came to symbolise humanity’s never ending pursuit of knowledge and the unattainable.
Christianity managed to appropriate the white hart for its own purposes. The stag came to symbolise Christ and its presence on earth. A white hart appeared to David I, King of Scotland in a moment of truth and its antlers turned into a cross, which induced David I to redeem and change his life. The yearly shedding and regrowth of its antlers are a christian symbol of rebirth and renewal. To the pagans this phenomena points to female fertility. 
The animal combines male and female elements. The stag represents independence, pride and purification, its antlers stand for strength, fortitude and virility. He is king of the forest and protector of its creatures and represents the Sun, warrior’s virility and fertility.  Many Gods are represented with a headdress of antlers. The white hind, on the other hand, represents gracefulness, subtlety and femininity. It came to symbolize harmony and peace. In some Pagan legends, there is a correlation between the shape of a pair of horns and the crescent moon. The image of a stag with a full moon between his antlers represents both the male (the antlers) and the female (the moon) aspects of the Divine.
I am interested to bring together opposing elements in my work: organic - man made, soft - hard, totemic - kinetic, male - female, menacing - nurturing. Their combination represents the duality of nature: nurturing and benevolent but also menacing and deathly. 

Lajja Gauri

The Fertility Goddess Lajja Gauri appears in the earliest prehistoric testimonies. The Lajja Gauri attitude represented through the symbols M+V and the Swastika appear at Mezin, Ukraine, at the time of the Ice age, carved on several mammoth ivory objects clearly associated with the phallic cult dedicated to the goddess of sexuality. These symbols and figurative representations from the cultures of the Black Sea will migrate and reach all the ancient world: prehistoric Egypt, neolithic Western China, the Near East, the Indus Valley, Western Europe and even the Easter Island. The Lajja Gauri attitude, a nude goddess legs spread apart and exposing her sexual organs, is associated with the matriarchal fertility cult dominant in the ancient civilisations from the earliest age of humanity until the 3rd millennium bc. It represents an explicit invitation to sexual intercourse, with the purpose of procreation, in societies concerned by the survival of the human species.

i cula ni bokola

A totemic hybrid figure, partly human, mammal and sacred object, is inspired by the cannibal forks used in the Fiji Islands until the late 19th century. I Cula ni bokola was exclusively used for the consumption of human flesh by high ranking chiefs and great priests.These high ranking personae were taboo and nothing un-sanctified was to touch them. The taboo object became a treasure in its own right and kept in the burekalou, the spirithouse until the next meal. 
The artist draws a disturbing link to the ritual of transubstantiation in the Eucharist of the Catholic Church, in which bread and wine become flesh and blood of the Christ. The host is shown in a monstrance, the containing holy vessels kept in the tabernacle until the next holy communion.
There is no comparison intended, only the opening of a discussion. The human being has a natural tendency towards a feeling of supremacy over nature, animals and other ethnic groups. But who are we to judge?


Marius, le jeune homme de la mer.
Les bras enlacés autour de ses genoux, assis sur l’herbe encore imprégné de la nuit, il contemplait l’horizon. Là bas où ciel et mer font confusion, où l’infini n’est que chose commune.
L’esprit vagabond, il avait pour habitude de s’y projeter. D’oublier ce monde dont il ne saisit rien et de rendre défaite à son imagination.
Il se voyait dans le tourments de l’océan, entre vagues et vent, exaltant de plaisir.
Il nageait habilement entre les fracas de l’eau mise en colère 
par le vent de la terre.
Marius n'était heureux qu’à proximité de l’eau, et doucement, 
un sourire naïf vint épouser ses lèvres.
(Texte Anna Lisa Brouet)

En nommant notre fils ‘Marius’ avons-nous, les parents, donné un destin à notre enfant ou avons nous présentit intuitivement les passions qui vont fonder les choix de sa vie ? 
Basé sur la pose de mon fils, observée un jour d’été ou bout du jardin et décris si poétiquement par ma fille Anna Lisa, j’ai développé une série de travail en utilisant des techniques d’estampes et de sculpture. 
J’emploie des formes sculpturales gravées et découpées dans des planches de bois ou de Lino pour créer par superposition un univers d'océan dans lequel les figures se perdent en glissant doucement vers les fonds. L’association de plusieurs figures a donné lieu à des jeux d’acrobates, permutation de positions et de couleurs, figées dans une plaque de métal à l’aide de la technique d’eau-forte et l’aquatinte. La sculpture ‘Marius‘, avec ses membres longiligne et galbés, est en même temps un exercice de géométrie et d’harmonie en blanc pur. Cette maquette en plâtre est en cours d’accomplissement et pourra être réalisé en bronze ou bronze résine après moulage.  
Mon travail fait référence à mon enfance dans la campagne allemande. J’explore l'interdépendance de tout chose vivante, en représentant et célébrant la vitalité d’un univers chargé d’animisme et de spiritualité. Les oeuvres respirent l'archaïsme, la simplicité mais en même temps la complexité et l'ingéniosité de tout objet naturel.