The original artwork is an acrylic painting on canvas, finished in 2010.
Lilith is a character from Jewish mythology. She was created at the same time and from the same earth as Adam, unlike Eve, who was created from one of Adam’s ribs. Lilith was Adam’s first wife, but she refused to be regarded as inferior to Adam and coupled with archangel Samael instead. For this reason, she is scorned and demonized in the writings. It was this treatment that inspired my work with the painting – why is a woman a sinner if she refuses to be passive? Should Lilith really be regarded as a demon or is she in fact the victim in the story?
The painting has many symbols. The big mask that she wears symbolizes the role that women are supposed to fulfil traditionally. The large, plentiful peacock feathers promise immortality and return to the Garden of Eden if you’re a good woman. The grapes symbolize fertility, the role of motherhood that women are expected to fulfill. And the hummingbirds are traditionally a symbol for lightness and adaptability and positivity. All of which are things that the traditional view on femininity encourages.
It’s worth noting that the larger image of the woman and the snake, which refers to how Lilith is regarded as a sinner, is mirrored in the center of the painting where the snake is attacking the hummingbird. I’ll leave that one to your interpretation.