Vessel and the Fertile Crescent
AN EXHIBITION BY TWO SISTERS: JENNY DODD AND SALLY SPENCER
I can only attempt to transcribe her thoughts about the work as they manifested in our dialogue.
The exhibition is a reflection and celebration of the past we shared in clay form.
Our painter, scholar father's influence and early childhood education in the classics, art and mythology, particularly of the Eastern Mediterranean area, has informed the aesthetic. Some of Jenny’s formative years were spent in Greece and then Cyprus, which with its wealth of early cultural evidence became the family home.
The vessel was Jenny’s concern with all its deep feminine symbolic significance offering a timeless limitless form to explore. The endangered species of the Mary River are the subject of a series of Jenny’s bowls and reminder that our rivers are our life blood and we need to nurture them.
The Greek world of sunshine and light, delight in the abundance of nature and spirit of terrain resound in Jenny’s vessels.
This reminds of the primordial need to conserve and store water that surely gave birth to the pottery industry. Jenny’s pots were inspired by Ancient Greek pots from 3,000 BC made from bird forms with tiny wings and pouring spouts like beaks. The glazes, colours and textures reflect the Aegean world.
“The Fertile Crescent” I have used as a metaphor. The exhibition is inspired by the 3-7 millenniums BC, the Neolithic period of Old Europe. In this period the transition from hunter, gatherer to farmer and urban dweller took place. The primordial deity of our Neolithic ancestors was female, reflecting the sovereignty of motherhood and had an accompanying animal or bird totem in association.
Most civilizations grew up in river catchments and the dependence on rain and water is reflected in the embellishment of this early female deity with water symbols.
Jenny Dodd died on 25.12.2007, her death is an immeasurable loss.