Matabrune, or burning mother is a bardic name for the Valkyrie Brunnhilde, or Burning Hel, the Norse Queen of the underworld. Her name became popularized in Christian tradition and appropriated erroneously in the concept of hell. These words all may be derivative of the Norse hellir, a sacred cave or uterine shrine of rebirth. She is personified in the red clouds of dawn. Her historical changes show how the sacred nature of women's power has been demonized and largely dehistoricized by Christianity (and the state). By illustrating different examples of women's power through history, I evoke the Matabrune in my works.
Moera is older than time, she is the destroyer aspect of the triple fates corresponding with Kali and the Morrigan. She was Christianized as St. Maura (and, arguably as one of the many Mary’s, Mari’s, Maeries), on whose sacred day women were forbidden to sew, weave or spin, lest they "cut the thread of life" after the manner of the Moerae. In Greek myth the three Fates were nearly always weavers. In Anglo-Saxon literature, fate is "woven." Latin destino (destiny) means that which is woven, or fixed with cords and threads; fate is "bound" to happen, just as the spells of fairy-women were "binding." The Moerae were Clotho the Spinner, Lachesis the Measurer, and Atropos the Cutter of life's thread. All were aspects of the archaic Triple Aphrodite, of whom it was said her real name was Moera, and she was older than Time. Arachne the Spider was a totemic form of the fate-spinner and of Clotho. Medieval Europe usually associated spiders with witches. The folk tale of the Spider and the Fly suggested the once widespread belief that flies are souls in search of a female entity to eat them and give them rebirth.' "Fate" was synonymous with "fairy" in the Middle Ages. Alphonsus de Spina placed "Fates" first on his list of devils, remarking: "Some say they have seen Fates, but if so they are not women but demons."
My paintings are immersed in the myths of the She's who have come before, in reclaiming our stories and birthing a retelling. I am a pagan activist and feminist, and am currently working on attaining an M.A. in Adult Education and Community Development at OISE. My past research has looked at decolonization, prison/environmental/reproductive justice, trauma, gender based violence, the early modern European witch hunts (and witch hunts elsewhere), early modern/colonial history generally, pagan history (especially in Europe; Germany, the Balkans, the British Isles, Friuli, etc.), permaculture, herbalism and the history of crafting and women's arts. Elements from many of these subject areas and disciplines are central in my paintings and other work. Feel free to send me interesting myths or histories that you come across (that are feminist, pagan, etc.) that you feel could be the subject of a new painting.