When I started back to school, after a 15+ year “break”, I did not realize how much I would love my classes. I hate to admit it, but I really did not like school when I was little. Back then I thought I was too busy to study and get good grades. I was ready to get on with my life.
Now, as a multi-tasking
crazy person mama I try to find ways to turn my studying into an opportunity for Peyton and me to play. Sharing art has created so many great conversations with Peyton and it’s a bonus to see how it teaches her to problem solve and experiment with her own ideas.
The Venus of Willendorf
One of the oldest and most famous statuettes in the art history world is an abstract nude woman carved roughly 25,000 years ago. Made of limestone and standing (she does not stand on her own) 4 1/2 inches, the Venus of Willendorf was found in Austria (hence it’s name) and probably did not represent an actual Goddess. Attention to the breasts and pelvic area suggest that it may have served as a fertility image, after all, the ability to have babies ensured our survival.
Family Fun Fridays in the Ross house are organized around art projects and I thought it would be fun to create our own little goddess. We used oven bake clay to mold our designs and used little skewers to carve out the details.
I told her she didn’t have to copy the Venus of Willendorf but to create her impression of it.
We talked about how it was made out of a type of limestone and how the artist would have carved into it, taking away from the stone to create the sculpture. Peyton picked up on how this was different than clay because we were adding things to make our shapes. So proud! We talked about all the ways it may have been used and what the scholars say. Peyton feels it was a toy because the ‘bumps’ make it easy for baby’s to hold. She also thought that if it was cold it would feel good on boo boo’s. I told she was probably right and she beamed and showed me her Goddess.
Picture of Venus of Willendorf from Wikipedia
Fred S. Kleiner. Gardner’s Art Through The Ages, A Global History, 13th Edition, Volume 1. Thomson Wadsworth. 2009. Page 17, Paleolithic Art.