Mixed MediaA Visit from Sheela Na Gig, 2021400x 400mm

Sheila na gig is fascinating, mysterious and confronting. An earthy, primal, naked female figure opening wide her vulva with the top half of her body often skeletal. A dire medieval warning against sin? Many are visually humorous. With no records from the twelfth to early seventeenth centuries to explain her meaning she has been projected onto endlessly. Women are claiming, reimagining and making her in a multitude of mediums. Why? Because time is running out. Femicide, Ecocide and Mass Extinction are intertwined. Women are treated with the same violent exploitation as the Earth. Sheela na gig gives freedom and permission to inhabit our bleeding, birthing, menopausing, ageing bodies and lead with embodied wisdom, resilience and mischief. She is the direct descendant of vulvas on cave walls, the most prevalent motif of creativity and creation itself, when societies were peaceful and egalitarian. When she flashed into my mind she insisted I take her journey, write in my working-class voice, create this painting and poem in the spirit of a ‘pie and a pint’. She is a shamanic prayer for the Earth and for all those who do not fit the Imperialist, profit driven mould, stopping off on her way to COP26.