Tuesday, January 22, 2013

OSHUN, AFRICAN GODDESS

Oshun, African Goddess carved by Robyn Gordon

OSHUN the African Goddess of beauty, love, prosperity, order and fertility.


Oshun carved by Robyn Gordon

Her name is synonymous with transformation.


"She is widely loved, as She is known for healing the sick and bringing fertility and prosperity, and She especially watches over the poor and brings them what they need. As Orisha of love, Oshun is represented as a beautiful, charming and coquettish young woman". 
Read more about her here and here.


Please bear with me .... I am labeling each image by Robyn Gordon because my work is being pinned without credit.

 This is the second time that I have carved Oshun.  Initially I was drawn to her because she is  the mother of the birds and the fishes. Fish (my husband is a passionate  angler) and birds feature highly in our lives. At first I  knew only a smattering of facts gleaned in books but later the internet provided a deeper knowledge of her qualities and I became even more intrigued. 

I have a Brazilian friend living in the states who knows her as Oxum.  With the African diaspora Oshun was introduced to the Americas. Her name changes slightly from country to country but no matter where she is,  she is loved and respected.

Oshun, African Goddess carved by Robyn Gordon

84 comments:

  1. I feel a sense of reverence when I see this. How well you've used the natural textures and shapes of your materials to create what you do.
    One day I hope you will post a Youtube video showing us how you create your beautiful work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Priya, "a sense of reverence" ...you have no idea how much your comment warms my heart. Thank you. I battle to photograph my work so that you can see the texture (these are really poor photos) so i can't imagine what i would do to a video clip.

    ReplyDelete
  3. She;s quite beautiful. I love how the body is covered with metal feathery things. And her hair, cool!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  4. Hi Robyn, this is such a powerful piece and I think you honored her with your work. She one of my favorite transformational goddesses, and I am so taken with with your treatment of her hair and the length of her, just stunning... and I think you captured the texture pretty well... still she begs to be stroked...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Robyn, your work is always inspiring. i wish to someday see your work live.
    this piece particularly resonates with me, evoking memories from my own past.
    ....interesting,huh?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very striking. Wish it was in MY garden.

    ReplyDelete
  7. She is beautiful like a goddess but also has a down to earth feel that is so relatable. I especially love the hair treatment.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Robyn, you have captured her deep sense of timelessness and spirituality. She appears ancient and timely at the same time - truly stunning!
    xxoo

    ReplyDelete
  9. un travail tout en sensibilité.. malgré la matière brut...tu dois avoir une cave d'ali baba...plein de trésors en rouille..:))

    ReplyDelete
  10. She is beautiful Robyn. She looks "knowing" as if she sees and knows many things of importance.

    Transformation can be so painful. She seems a strong guide for the journey.

    Heartfelt congratulations on your January carving!

    ReplyDelete
  11. She appears to be ready for battle for those she watches over. Great rendition.

    ReplyDelete
  12. makes me want to sit and look and be completely quiet

    ReplyDelete
  13. Quels secrets nous réserve encore cette déesse, aux yeux mi-clos?

    Elle qui, sous les mains de l'artiste, se fait sereine et réconfortante dans ses parures de bois, d'acier, de métal et de clous rouillés.
    Qu'elle nous guérisse enfin, nous et nos enfants! Et que l'arrondi de son visage qui nous rappelle le cercle lunaire, nous guide et nous apaise!

    Thème et sculpture, ce «totem» me parlera encore longtemps.

    ReplyDelete
  14. So beautiful. My english is not good enough to say what I feel seeing it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, Robyn, she is stunning! I have been familiar with the Orishas for many years, and Oshun has always been my favorite- along with Legba. You have exquisitely portrayed her strength and wisdom, as well as her beauty. Have you done carvings of any other Yoruba deities? If so, I'd love to see them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. she is wonderful! the expression on her face is perfect! she knows!

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a carving and such a story, I think I would love her to look over me.

    ReplyDelete
  18. She's gorgeous. I love that she watches over those that need her.

    ReplyDelete
  19. of course my first hit upon viewing her was she looked so "Buddha-esque". It is that peaceful countenance. And oh my goodness, I am smitten by her hair!!

    Truly beautiful. I love that the materials make her feel so earthy and grounded.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You never cease to amaze me Robyn. I just love your work and posts.

    ReplyDelete
  21. this one is indeed somebody very special. i want to sit with her and just look.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love the story on OSHUN and can see why you are so smitten with her, and know more about her.

    Are they tines from a farming implement that you have used on her body?

    Makes you feel quite humble this beautiful Goddess you have made.

    Jacky xox

    ReplyDelete
  23. Beautiful. Serene, strong, gentle, and wise. Just wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow, that is amazing - I really love it. It has tremendous qualities - a calmness and reassurance. I'd love to be able to see it - and feel it. You are so talented!

    ReplyDelete
  25. R - brilliant piece; such amazing balance and design - and all the better that it is January . By the way are those all worn mower blades? Go well. B

    ReplyDelete
  26. I enjoyed how you revealed her slowly in your post, I am off to read more about this goddess who is new to me. I am particularly drawn to her hair details.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Valerianna ... thank you, I got a kick out of doing the hair.

    Thanks Cat,that's a lovely thing to say. I wish my photos showed the texture more. I need a few lessons and a new camera.

    Thanks Rebeca, it's interesting how many people have connections and knowledge of the Orishas (Oshun in particular).

    Sand Hill Art, thank you.

    Cathy, I love the earthiness of weathered wood and rust.Thanks so much.

    Judy S, "a deep sense of timelessness and spirituality" .... I love that! Thank you.

    Elfi, I do have a treasure trove of rusty things but I can never find particular pieces when i want them. I have run out of space!

    Thank you Leslie, you know the battle I have to work in January. She is a triumph!I totally lost myself while styling her hair. Such a good feeling!

    Lisa at G, the metal makes me think of armor and fish scales (She is also the Orisha of freshwater lakes, rivers and streams)

    Thank you India, even though I say so myself... she takes me to a very calm still place.

    Mo, the coffee bean eyes are typical of carvings in Africa.

    Francine, Yes she holds many secrets :-)
    I hadn't thought of her face as a lunar circle but it makes perfect sense. Sharing my art on my blog brings many unexpected gifts .... thoughtful comments and observations. Thank you!

    Thank you Helena, you have said more than you imagine.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Sharmon, thank you so much! It is an added surprise that my fellow bloggers are aware of the Orishas. I have carved several of the Orishas (I'm drawn to the female dieties) but my first digital camera took even worse photos than this camera so I haven't kept a very good record. I carved OshunI and Yemaya. Let me look through my photos and I'll email you.

    Thanks Lyle, she knows... :-)

    Penny, I do get that feeling when my totems are here. Perhaps it's the tallness that gives the impression of guardians standing over one.

    Thanks Annie K, it was a pleasure carving her.

    Carole, thank you. I had the most fun doing her hair :-)

    Lucky Dip Lisa, thank you!

    Thanks Velma, I'm so chuffed that you would want to sit with her.

    Thanks Jacky, the blades are from a lawn mower. I bought them from a scrap yard and have had them hanging on a chain on my wall for about 3 years..... waiting for the right time to use them.

    lynne h, :-) xoxo

    Lynn, thank you so much.

    Vintage Tea Time, wow! I'm enjoying the comments so much :-)
    Thank you!

    Thanks Barry, yes they are mower blades. They have waited a long time for the right time to use them.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I would love to share my space with her...

    ...I can well imagine how she would calm and inspire...

    Such talent!

    x C

    ReplyDelete
  30. As usual, you have captured every nuance Robyn. Beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love her!

    (Everyone has already said everything) Protection. Transformation. Especially adore the hair. Your work always sets my imagination running.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow!! I like very much your art Robin. I also like the way you make the wood antique. It seems that the sculpture was stuck for years in the ground :-)
    And euh ... Yeah! I like her hair :-)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Ver beautiful Robyn, I do love her hair!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Her impact on me is calming. What a beauty! Self-confident, powerful, protecing... You have a special attitude to this goddess with the beautiful name of Oshun. Although wooden, I have the feeling that she's breathing, that she has a soul...
    One can learn a lot from the links, thank you, Robyn!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Oshun or Oxum - whatever her name she is very beautiful, and comforting, graceful, serene.
    I particularly love her hair Robyn.
    A really beautiful way to begin your creative year.
    May it be filled with more ......

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am attracted to Mother Earth images by any name, and Goddesses of every realm. This carving is sacred and inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Linda, Oshun has many more qualities than I have mentioned in the post. Doing the hair was particularly enjoyable :-)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks so much Chris. xox

    Weaver, thank you.

    Thanks Mansuetude, it was difficult not to overdo the hair. I just wanted to keep on adding more.

    Wim, thanks so much. I enjoyed your talisman post this morning.

    Thanks Kim

    Thanks Rossichka, it is a beautiful name isn't it?! The shhhhh has a calming effect.

    Thanks Susan, that was the best part for me.... breaking the January block, and feeling the sense of calm while carving her. She was definitely working her magic on me.

    Marie, thank you so much. I love that she feels sacred and is inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I hope you are well, lovely work as ever. best wishes to you Blu

    ReplyDelete
  40. I wonder what her dress is created of... It's something mechanical? pieces of a plow?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thanks Blu, all is well.

    Wim, I found a whole bunch of old lawn mower blades hanging from a chain at the scrap yard. I bought them several years ago knowing that they would be just right for something one day.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi again Robyn ah those eyes are coffee beans, I always thought that shape was derived from cowrie shells!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Through your carving hands I have been introduced to this Oshun in all her serene power...beautiful workmanship! I'm amazed at the softness expressed using wood and metal. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  44. She says so much with just her presence. You really captured her. thanks for sharing her. ....PJ

    ReplyDelete
  45. Wonderful to be led to your page and witness your work of Oshun, so sacred and spirited. Took me back to the days when we danced to Oshun with the drummers...a pleasant memory..thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  46. R- re the mower blades - isn't it so good when the right time for wierd collections arrives - and they were just so right for this work - so strong - like armour and yet a bit of delicacy as well. B

    ReplyDelete
  47. Mo, they call them coffee bean eyes but they could well have been inspired by cowries too because there are masks that have cowrie shells for eyes.

    Thanks Mary Ann, I do enjoy using wood and metal together.

    PJ, thanks so much.

    Maggie, thank YOU for sharing your memories. It's been interesting reading about the connections that some bloggers have to Oshun.

    Barry, it's a good feeling isn't it?! My husband often encourages me to buy odd bits and pieces from the scrap yard "because they will be just right for a totem one day".

    ReplyDelete
  48. Robyn, She is so beautiful, and a wonderful spirit. I have been sick, so I am late getting here.
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Annie, I hope you are feeling better today.

      Delete
  49. very beautiful...love the strong and clean carving that makes the expression powerful....

    many good thoughts from

    Anita Thomhave Simonsen, Denmark

    ReplyDelete
  50. Wow, you create such powerful pieces! Unique and beautiful, Robyn. I especially love her hair:)

    Gaby xo

    ReplyDelete
  51. Robyn, I love the way you have interpreted the hair. each individual and standing on its own. Beautiful work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gwen. The hair was the fun part.

      Delete
  52. Oshun is exquisite. No doubt she will find a new home soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jo. I'm hoping to hold onto a few totems since my house is denuded of carvings at the moment.

      Delete
  53. Oh Robyn, Oshun is magnificent. Every thing about her, her expression on her face, her hair, her adornments. I am spellbound.
    roxanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roxanne you say the sweetest things. Thanks so much.

      Delete
  54. Hi Robyn,
    It's been awhile since I've stopped by. I have enjoyed my visit, as I always do. I don't think anyone else asked this question, but how do you know if your work is being pinned without credit? I'm just curious. I'm not on Pinterest, so I am completely in the dark about it.
    Love your work, of course! Powerful, silent...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karine, I am on Pinterest myself so I keep on bumping into my work with out credit or links and in fact sometimes someone else is given credit. There is a way you can check if your work is being pinned but only the pins that have credit and links will show.
      http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=karine+Swenson

      Delete
  55. breath taking....beautiful work. Thank you for her 'story' too and for sharing your wonderous work.

    ReplyDelete
  56. You have certainly created a beautiful work representing light, love and creation. Using the old to create the new is wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Donna, I do love creating something new with old discarded bits and pieces.

      Delete
  57. She is divine!
    thanks for expanding my knowledge of Oshun
    love her connection with the birds and fish
    sort of moon over water
    and yes,
    I can hear the balafon and the drums...

    xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks eb, she seemed to cast her magic throughout the process. I really enjoyed carving her.

      Delete
  58. oh Robyn... she's gorgeous... so elegant! We were at the Fine Arts Museum in Boston a few weeks ago and I have to tell you, my favorite room held masks and barkcloth from Africa. In my mind I kept visualizing the markings on trees in our forest at home and the art felt familiar and comforting to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Laura. African bark cloth is beautiful isn't it?! I love the marks and patterns.

      Delete
  59. I forgot to say, "I love her freckles" ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ... and I thought they were subtle :-)

      Delete
  60. Robyn---she is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  61. What a wonderful piece Robyn! Just love the blades:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Di, it's such fun finding a use for a pile of scrap metal.

      Delete
  62. I love Oshun. She can watch over me anytime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Don, she takes her job seriously :-)

      Delete
  63. She is absolutely stunning Robyn. Truly magnificent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seth, I really appreciate your comment. Thanks so much!

      Delete
  64. The body decorations remind me of fish scales. It's wonderful to see one of your Goddesses again.

    ReplyDelete
  65. So lovely and inspiring to see your work, Robyn. Solid, soulful, respectful.
    Thank you for sharing what you know about her. I learned.

    ReplyDelete