9 — 31
‘In Search of the Sun’ draws on the sculpture Eastre, (Hymn to the Sun) (1924) by JD Fergusson, a work from Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums’ collection. ‘In Search of the Sun’ explores how, over time and geography, the meanings associated with the figure of Eastre have changed significantly and complicates JD Fergusson’s depiction of her as a Saxon goddess, drawing on multiple historical references from across Europe and the Middle East. The figure of Eastre began as Inanna in Mesopotamia, mutating into Ishtar in Assyria, Oshtara in Germany and then, via the English monk Bede the Venerable became known as Eostre in eighth century Christian Northumbria.
Eastre was originally understood as a ‘promiscious figure of political power, martial prowess and sexual allure’ in her earliest incarnation and by the time her name was mentioned in England, she was being depicted as a goddess of fertility and spring.
‘In Search of the Sun’ can take the form of a live performance art work as well as a multichannel video installation. It is presented here, online, as a single channel video.
Captions by Valery Tough.
This screening is supported by Aberdeen City Council Creative Funding.
ONE WORK is a series of online events that focus closely on a single work. These generous discussions provide an opportunity for an artist to present a recent work and talk through how the work came into being. Each work is available as a month-long online screening, followed by a specially commissioned written response that serves as documentation of both the work and the discussion.