Sheela Na Gig - (1080 CE) Cast Wall or Altar Plaque
An ancient, Celtic depiction of a female form with an exaggerated vulva. In a historical context, these may have been used to ward off death or evil, because they were often found above doors or windows. She is considered and Irish fertility goddess, seen about ready to give birth to new worlds.
Either way, she is a fierce patron of the modern day feminist and historical art lover.
This Celtic archetype of the Great Mother appeared in folk and church art by at least 1080 CE, but undoubtedly is of much earlier origin. She may be identical with the war goddess Morrigan, consort to the Dagda. One of her images is found near the ancient goddess shrine of Avebury, where she symbolized fertility; displaying her sexual parts was believed to ward off evil. Carvings of Sheela-na-Gigs may have accompanied the seasonal harvest custom of weaving corn dollies which dates from North European antiquity.
4 1/4" gypsum plaque