The exhibition is called Feared and Revered and it's subtitled Feminine power through the ages. It's also a joint project of the British Museum and our NMA and thus has a string of ancient works that we tend not to see here, back to 2,800BCE. Nothing that I noticed of our own items back to 60,000 years ago, although there were some modern takes on that history. I tend to drool over the classical items, Egypt, Greece, Rome, predictable and Euro-centric as it is. I am Euro extraction, after all. There were various items from India, China, Africa and more and these were similarly awe-inspiring, but somewhat newer to me and perhaps us. Not that I had the impression that any of these works were the real biggies that you see in London, but impressive none-the-less. I'm on hols so just glancing through the captions, but I was somewhat befuddled, too, by the overall theme. Feminine power and "its profound influence through the ages". I can obviously see the reproductive power, but "ferocious, beautiful, creative, hell-bent" sounds like real power, not lack of, and that seems to poorly fit the arguments of contemporary feminism. The Virgin Mary may be a reproductive power but is this social power in its own right? The Kylie dress was fun but an insight on feminism? One modern work amused me, a square stone block basically with a big hole located near the prehistoric female figures. And the statues flashing vulvas from Irish and English churches? New to me but female power? Alternatively, a modern colourful print implying all comes from reproduction seemed immensely satisfying and feminist. But these are just thoughts as I perused none too seriously on the day. But I loved some of the works, a beautiful ivory (?) mediaeval Madonna and child and a Roman Venus. Worth the visit and much more application than I could give it on this lazy January day.
Feared and Revered: Feminine power through the ages is on display at the National Museum of Australia.
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