“He then created a woman for Adam, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith began to fight. She said “I will not lie below,” and he said, “I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while am to be in the superior one.” Lilith responded, “We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.” Afraid he would overpower her, Lilith pronounced the Ineffable Name of God and flew away into the air.”
– Ben Sira
Which came first? The chicken or the egg? Lilith was the first…and she is made from eggs!
As I created this sculpture, I had been reaching back into antiquity to explore the ancient characterizations of woman.
And Lilith was the first…and she was wonderful! She was fragile, yet powerful, and she embodied the strength and humour of women.
So it seemed only appropriate to construct her entirely from egg shells.
Her outer case is made from ostrich and emu shells. There is a small key in the lock. Later revealed to be her clitoris, it must be delicately held and turned on more than one occasion, through the exploration of this piece.
Upon the opening of the case, Lilith’s many parts are revealed. And as they are removed and pieced together, we are able to experience the reverent journey, of the reconstruction of ‘Goddess’.
She is an artefact. Her gilded form was constructed from chicken, turkey, pheasant and quail eggs, and displays an exposed spine that has the appearance of mummification.
Her voluptuous breasts are doors and they irreverently serve as an Arc of the Covenant, sheltering scrolls that tell the Lilith story. That the source of the holy writings, and our spiritual nourishment, flows from the most primary source of nourishment - women’s breasts, is further reinforced, as one must first pull on her nipples, to release the spring loaded locks and remove the fragments of her narrative.
The scrolls may then be unrolled as they reveal the story of Lilith in Hebrew. Made from sections of quails eggs, they are designed to appear as fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls.
As a woman, her head and heart are intrinsically connected and can be lifted out as a single unit. The head has been formed from two pheasant eggs - one carefully carved to depict her hair.
Her heart, when detached, can be opened: once full, it is now empty, containing naught but a single tear shaped drop of blood.
Her belly is a threaded cap, which when unscrewed reveals her egg case (quail egg). And upon opening this little egg, we discover multiple eggs in many stages of cell division, and formed from pearls and silver.
Her vulvar region has been depicted as treasure, with a beautiful fish made of silver. The clitoris once again, functions as the key and must be gently turned, to persuade her to open.
Once she is unlocked, the reproductive system can be removed as a single unit.
Her vagina (quail egg) can then be unthreaded from the uterus. It is depicted as a pomegranate (formed from glass), with all its inherent erotic mythology. From Aphrodite’s beautiful fruit and Persephone’s transgression, to Eve’s first bite of the forbidden fruit (most probably a pomegranate). But nestled amongst the luscious seeds, we discover teeth. Vagina Dentata. And in this case specifically, they are wisdom teeth...
The uterus (chicken egg) displays the Fallopian tubes of silver with ovaries made from small finch eggs and the cervix is depicted with four small hinged doors.
Finally deconstructed, her parts may be returned to her case and locked shut, by the clitoris.