Trinity del Fuego
Scheduled to build in 2020, this installation will consist of three 12-16 feet tall metal sculptures representing the three aspects of the Celtic goddess Brigid in the form of Inanna, Hekate, and Medusa. They will form a circle, have fire effects, and guard a central cauldron. I: Inanna carries a flaming torch; II: Hekate has a wood burning cauldron embedded in her steel trunk; III: Medusa's snakes spit fire and her tail contains a working forge.
The installation is designed in such a way so that the audience is invited to reflect upon the many Goddesses who have been revered for centuries, and across a wide range of cultures. Yet, specifically INANNA, HEKATE and MEDUSA will be brought to life in this art piece. Each will contain her own fire effects system. Art festival attendees will be invited to learn blacksmithing at the forge of Medusa and welcomed to push buttons which produce a huge blast of propane fueled fire from the heads of Hekate and Inanna.·
Within the circle of these fabulous deities one will feel the power and essence of the moon in its three phases: crescent, full, and dark; the three stages of woman's life: as Artemis the virgin huntress, Persephone the nymph, and Hekate the crone. They look three ways at once: past, present, future; and offer their gifts of inspiration, magick, and regeneration to humanity.
The symbol for this installation is 333
(Triple Goddess x 3) = Goddess Manifest.
— All three stand at the gateway between Shadow and Light —
Between the Underworld and the Upper World
I: Brigid as Solar Goddess of Fire / Inanna
I’ve chosen to associate this aspect of Brigid with INANNA, the Great Winged Bird Goddess because she is Queen of Heaven, yet she also conquered the Underworld.
She is MAIDEN.
The flames that crown the Solar Goddess of Fire /the Poetress will be cut from copper and steel plate.
II: Brigid as Hekate — the Tree Goddess
Some parts will be cast in bronze or aluminum, such as the twigs that make up the hair and hands of Brigid as Herbalist & Midwife / Hekate.
She is MOTHER.
III: Brigid as Medusa — the Sea Goddess
The snakes and vines of this sculpture will be forged steel; her belly will be an actual working forge (accessible through the crotch area of the sculpture). A couple of anvils, blacksmithing tools, and scrap steel will be available for participants to try their hand at blacksmithing. This aspect of Brigid is Medusa — she who represented divine female wisdom before patriarchy distorted her story. She holds the secrets of sex, divination, magic, and death, and presides over the blood mysteries. She is CRONE.
They will all be built of flat stock, square tubing, and steel rod construction, bolted together so they may disassemble easily for shipment. Copper plate, perforated steel, sheet metal, scrap metal and other recycled materials will be used to form their womanly features and outer garments.·
Participants may enter the circle of the Trinity and enjoy the warmth of the central eternal flame/hearth fire of Brigid by entering one of the three crossroads between each of the sculptures. This central “belly” will contain two elevated dishes. The core dish will keep the eternal propane-fueled flame. The other outer dish will surround that central flame and provide a space so that wood and incense may also be burned. Onlookers may make offerings and deposit their written wishes into the central “womb” / eternal flame in honor of the triple goddess Brigid and her compatriots — Hekate, Medusa & Inanna. A separate propane fueled fire source will be plumbed up and through each goddess so as to light the hands of one, the eyes of the second, and spit tiny little flames out of the mouths of the snakes that form the third deity’s hair. Smoke and fire will permeate up and out of the many orifices of the deities’ heads.
CONCEPT BEHIND THE WORK
Brigid is the spark that ignited my imagination for this piece. She is known by many names ~ Brighid, Brigit, Bride, SAINT OF THE FLAME and also as St. Brigid who is perhaps the most powerful religious figure in all of Irish history. She was said to be the daughter of a Druid who had a vision that she was to be named after a great goddess. She was born at sunrise while her mother was walking over a threshold, and so "was neither within nor without." This is the state known as liminality, from the Latin "limen," a threshold – the state of being “in between” places and times. In Celtic tradition this is a sacred time when the doors between the worlds are open and magickal events can occur.
In creating this project I’m attempting to combine several of my earlier designs for a Brigid sculpture ( “Keeper of the Hearthfire” “Keep One Eye on Me” and “Brigid the Herbalist” ) into one installation, and also tie in the myths of two other Godesses who are akin to Brigid — In Greek mythology she is HESTIA, the virgin goddess of the hearth, architecture, and of the right ordering of domesticity and the family. In Roman mythology she is VESTA who personified the public hearth, and whose cult of the ever-burning flame (the Vestal Virgins) bound Romans together in the form of an extended family. She is also HEKATE, the original embodiment of triple in pre-Greek mythology who ruled over the three great mysteries of birth, life, and death, and a great festival was once held in her honor on August 13 celebrating her as the Goddess of Storms and Fertility.
It’s probable that Kildare was once a pagan sanctuary dedicated to Brigid, and attended by priestesses similar to the Vestal Virgins of Roman tradition. The hearth fire of a Roman or Greek household was not allowed to go out, unless it was ritually extinguished and ritually renewed, accompanied by impressive rituals of completion, purification and renewal. My idea is to provide a similar hearth fire with ritual for festival attendees, and also a forge, so that through FIRE, and heating and bending metal to our will, we can join together and create Art & Community while keeping the Flame alive. With nine attendees (virgin performers, ha ha) we can make the experience of the piece quite interesting by recreating theatrically one of the most important duties of the Vestal Virgins/Priestesses of Brigid — that of maintaining the Sacred Fire.
The motif of Incubation is key — of ideas, life, and forms. These deities are the fertile ground and keepers of the seed that is held in the darkness until we ignite the fires that introduce and produce transformation...·
We live in a culture which is primarily based in masculine solar principles that denigrate and reject the mysterious lunar, feminine powers of the unconscious realms. As we well know, this sun-consciousness is slowly destroying the Earth. By sharing Goddess awareness and the feminine principle through Trinity del Fuego I attempt to shed lunar light upon this one-sided reliance on solar consciousness, and perhaps assist in making a shift out of Patriarchy and into Partnership, with each other and with the Earth.
FLAME EFFECTS SYSTEMS
Trinity del Fuego is designed primarily as fire sculpture/ installation. Standard issue LiquidPropane (LP) gas is the primary fuel with a single pressure accumulator for TdF#1 only. The constant flame effect for all four units is a simple 1/4" copper tubing "Halo" non-venturi low pressure (5-15psi) regulated LP system. The single accumulator used in sculpture #1 is a traditional 5 gal empty propane tank "poofer" with 3/4" nc DC solenoid control. Sculpture #3 will contain a small propane metal forge with hand bellows for blower. All 4 feedlines will be shallow trenched to a singular propane tank depot located 20' from sculpture #3 (the forge). All sculptures will have indvidual emergency shutoff valves located in the base, as well as primary control valve at the depot. The present plan is to use a single large tank for all the halo lines and the accumulator, and a separate tank(s) for the forge so to allow forge operation without full system charging. All plumbing follows traditional FLG safety layouts and hardware specs.
The Great Winged Goddess
The Tree Goddess
The Sea Goddess
To make a donation to this project, please contact the artist.