(Gananoque, ON – May 1, 2023) One student believes censorship is alive and well in Gananoque Intermediate and Secondary School (GISS). She produced a special painting – “In Celebration of the Mother” – to be hung in the school front foyer for Earth Day, but it was hardly up before she was told to remove it.
“When I heard about Skye’s painting not allowed in the show at GISS I was shocked,” said Dennis O’Connor, proprietor of the O’Connor Gallery. “It’s 2023 and it’s an image of Mother Nature painted for Earth Day. The painting is quite a statement not only on our beleaguered planet but the continued suppression of women. Censoring it is taking yet another giant step back in women’s rights.”
The work shows a topless woman rising from the living soil. She is proud and strong, a mother looking out over her realm. Her stretch marks crack her stone outer surface to reveal the pure gold beneath, and she has all the marks normal adult women can identify with – hip dips, cellulite, comfortable fleshy rolls, breasts. Her hair is made up of dark clouds swirling around her head, and water flows from them nourishing the ground below. Moss creeps up her hips as it does many boulders rooted to the earth, clothing her in life itself. She is powerful, an image representing not only the planet we depend on for our very survival, but all women and all mothers everywhere.
“I usually work in acrylic paints, and for this piece I really wanted to normalize our ‘flaws’, as the media calls them – things like stretch marks, hip dips, cellulite, rolls – and breasts in general,” said artist Skye Hunt. “I think it was really important and when I hear ‘Earth’ I think ‘mother’ and women. Earth is ‘woman’. I think this piece really helps display that.”Continue reading