60” x 24” x 8″
96″ x 96″ x 3″
In “Ceremonial III” and “Ceremonial II”, two sculptures made of wax female figurines, I examine the fate of religious iconography in a contemporary consumer culture. In this ongoing series (20+ years), I have imbued these kitsch objects with the spirit of devadasis (ritual dancing girls) who resided in medieval Hindu temple complexes, and who are now immortalized in sculptural reliefs in these same temples. I am proposing that the religious and commercial spheres are not so far apart. In fact, the arrangement of the numerous mass-produced figurines into a life-size female form or an abstract pattern suggests that images of devotion in one cultural context can transform into craft or fine art objects in another. These works also reference the commodification of the female body though multiple cultural contents, including the historical transformation of the devadasi tradition into a form of indentured prostitution.