Anka Leśniak

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WORKS 2017

The Tripple Goddess / The Virgin and Child with St. Anne


Frakcja. Women from Lodz. Manifesto of Presence
group exhibition, Manhattan Transfer Gallery, Lodz

The Virgin and Child with St. Anne / The Triple Goddess plays with themes from the history of art. The artworks, beside their intentional meaning, through the composition and the scheme of depiction often include the reminiscences of other content.

My work in the first layer of its meaning refers to the popular theme in art history - St. Anne with the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. This group in different artworks is composed in different ways, but St. Anne is a dominant figure, sometimes she holds St. Mary and little Jesus on her lap, sometimes her figure is larger than the other figures or she is a central point of the composition.

However, while looking at the artworks depicting St. Anne with the Virgin Mary and child and forget about Christianity for a while, we may see the reminiscences of the great goddess in St. Anne's figure and her relation to the mother goddess and the witches. Thus the link between St. Anne and the Tripple Goddess - a motif existing in culture earlier than the Christian Saint Trinity - may be justified. The Tripple Goddess is one person in three incarnations, the lady of life and death. She is a symbol of three periods in woman's life - a virgin, a mother, and a 'crone', but not always literally understood. The old woman is a 'witch' - 'the one who knows'. She symbolizes the wisdom of women. My work is also the reflection on female friendship, the loop of time, the cycle of life, dying and rebirth, in which it is difficult to indicate the end and the beginning. The hand pointing to the child resembles the type of depiction of the Virgin Mary with the little Jesus called 'Hodegetria', what means 'She who shows the Way' of salvation. The girl who took the place of the boy heralds a new hope for the world, which can be saved by female energy and qualities considered as feminine in culture. The qualities still undervalued or even displaced in social life.