I have long been fascinated with vesica piscis, the shape formed when two circles overlap. Described in Euclid's first geometrical proposition, it is found in many forms both natural and fabricated, including seed, leaf, flame, fish and boat.

 

Threshold focuses on vesica piscis as symbol of the vulva and its relationship to Christian architecture and iconography. A symbolic portal, it underlies the gothic arch, integral to the soaring gothic cathedrals constructed mainly in veneration of the Virgin Mary and is the halo –mandorla– surrounding holy figures in early Christian art. 

 

Unlike earlier goddesses, the Virgin had her sexuality excised and her motherhood bypassed the vulva altogether, signifying a wider lack of appreciation of female sexuality and its expression of power. 

 

I aim, while referring to the religious past and to the #MeToo present, to celebrate this potent hidden threshold, as both the place we enter the world and the source of life-affirming pleasure.

 

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Photography by Cara Forbes and Raphael Rychetsky