: THE GODDESS WITHIN | JOSEPH ALBAO
One aspect of Joseph Albao’s interests is the way attitudes to women are historically, socially and culturally constructed.
In early human history, religions and mythologies, goddesses often occupied the positions of supreme beings and were equally powerful as their male counterparts. As time progressed they were displaced and downgraded to lesser supporting roles; and eventually, modern religions completely removed women from both the pantheon and as performers of religious rites.
Women were stripped of power, spiritually and materially. Over the millennia, they became more subjugated, regarded as chattels, as representative symbols of vice and temptation, reduced to culturally constructed stereotypes and archetypes which define the roles available to them.
Although some gains towards equality have been won during the last century, they are only available to some women and not much has changed for the majority.
Today, women at last have the chance to reclaim their inherent birthright. Albao believes that artists can play an important role in helping women rediscover their ancient heritage. His art intends to restore that part of ancient goddess cultures that once honored women for their sacred, life-giving, life-affirming powers -- powers associated with the moon and wild animals; and qualities associated with art, aesthetics, dance and music, singing, chanting and ecstatic states of being.
Joseph Albao "Hemera"
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