The Armenian Experience
Each of the women embody strength, perseverance and resiliency. Who was she? Who is she? Who will she become?
Satinik represents the woman of my past, escaping the Genocide. Headless, she is any and every woman who trudged through the desert, defended her village as a freedom fighter was captured or died during the struggle. She is a Heroine and a Survivor.
She is adorned with my Grandmother’s lace dollies as well as fabric brought to America by Carol’s grandmother.
Ani represents my generation of women growing up in the 1960’s. We were flower children, embracing our Armenian ethnicity. “Kiss me, I’m Armenian” was a popular slogan. We loved and embraced our half Armenian “sister” Cher!
I painted Ani to depict a duality. As a second generation Armenian, we champion the acknowledgement of the Genocide by Turkey. Her left side bears the images of pain and death. The vines are barren, on her arm, her face covered with tattoos designating her the property of a Turkish man. A dagger in her heart depicts her loss of family and of pain and suffering while the birds released are spirits of the dead.
The images on the right side of Ani show her thriving. The vine is abloom with roses, and she celebrates her ethnicity. Her nails are painted red, orange and blue; colors of the Armenian flag. The Armenian Cross painted on her back with adorned with wings indicates she is powerful and in charge of her future. On the nape of her neck is the Armenian symbol of eternity.
Victoria is a victor: the woman of our future. She is regal, wearing silks and jewels in the colors of the Armenian flag. The red represents sacrifice and blood. Blue stands for hope and aspirations of a nation under a free and tranquil sky. It also Orange is symbolic of the fertile lands the industrious spirit, creativity and prosperity of the Armenian nature. Below the pomegranates is the jeweled symbol of eternity. Her crow of peacock feathers represents intelligence, culture, vision, awakening and watchfulness. The seed beads sewn on her robe represent the 1.5 million killed in the Genocide now elevated to Sainthood after passing it’s 100 year anniversary. The glass (third) eye worn as a pendant is a protection from evil.
Satinik, Ani and Victornia are connected with a cord. They look into the center of the circle where the bread of the Armenian people, Lavaosh is arranged in the shape of the symbol of eternity.