Warmi (1945 - )

Pachamama - wawa (Shell) (1998)
Mother - Child (Shell)

Fired Clay
height: 30cm
width: 18cm

Donated by Warmi 1999


Moulding anthropomorphic forms in clay is an ancient impulse often, as in Genesis, associated with the divine origins of human beings. Equally ancient is the use of clay to make containers for food and drink, the prerequisites of life. In Peru many pre-Columbian cultures combined the two, creating effigy vessels in anthropomorphic and other representational forms for ceremonial use. Warmi takes these ideas and explores them from her own point of view. For her woman is the original vessel, the container from which life springs. This female figure is formed of two pots, an inverted open bowl forming the skirt, and a closed vase forming the upper torso. The woman is therefore the embodiment of Pachamama, Earth/earthenware Mother. The figure carries a baby (wawa in Quechua) on her back, a burden that sucks goodness from her, just as foreign oil companies (Shell) take oil from the land.

Valerie Fraser, 2008

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