The goddesses floating in the universe are the goddesses of the creation of the world.
They have the names of the goddess Moon, who was the first deity of the ancient world. In different times and regions of Greece she was worshipped with different names : Selene – goddess Artemis , Selene – goddess Vritomartis in Crete, Ariadne was the surname of the moon – goddess who was honored in the dance and in the arena.
They come dancing from the past to take us with them from the trivialities and difficulties of life and lead us to a happier future among the stars.
I was inspired by Seneca’s phrase ‘Per Aspera ad Astra’, by the difficulties in the stars, and by Ptolemy’s saying : ‘When I observe the myriads of stars, in their circular orbit my feet no longer tread the earth’.
The stars are a symbol of optimism , a metaphor essentially urging us to lift ourselves out of the everyday , through art , into something higher and more optimistic.
The first stimulus that clicked for me comes from childhood , and it is the topless Minoan goddesses that are in the museum of Heraklion.
They hold snakes, float on swings, and a series of sealing rings depict the stages of Theophany, the goddess’s advent into the visible world.
My father was originally from Crete, so the Heraklion museum took on great significance for me. I always wanted to talk about these wonderful, powerful goddesses.
This cycle of Theophany, which in Minoan culture focused on women, had a strong religious character. I like to think how much art and religion have in common. Just as religions from the most primitive to the present day try to bring order to chaos, the artist takes fragments of his thoughts, images, readings and creates a world of his own.
I love fragments because I can give a new meaning. At this juncture I felt the need to say something comforting and utopian for me and for all of us.
To create a new mythology , starring the female goddesses, whom I call upon for guidance and good luck, and for the promise they hold for a better future.
The Greek myths by Robert Graves, The Sky Atlas by Brooke-Hitching, Love in ancient Greece – the period before patriarchy by Andreas Lentakis, Mythology by Christopher Dell, and the amazing exhibition Feminine power at the British Museum in London are my main literature. I still draw inspiration from astrophysics and theories of creation.
Maria Belivani was born and lives in Thessaloniki.
She has read medicine at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, theatre at the Drama School of the National Theatre of Greece, and has attended painting courses in Thessaloniki (les Yper Yper), and in London (Royal Academy of the Arts).
“What would you take with you/ Borders” at the Folklore Museum of Thessaloniki ,2016
“Borders” at Technochoros gallery Athens, 2017
“She and the sea” at Ro art gallery Thessaloniki 2020
“Ad Astra” at Ro art gallery Thessaloniki 2022