Copyright © Natalie LeBlanc 2020 all rights reserved.

Meeting with the Goddesses is a chapter title that Montreal Artist Scott MacLeod has borrowed from Joseph Campbell’s A Hero with a Thousand Faces. For over a decade, Scott has been developing a body of work that explores several themes centred around the sacred feminine, mythology, the archetypal mind, temples, and funerary objects. His artwork explores the theme The Mystery of Life, in which he is actively searching for meaning that is embodied by the notion of the goddess — the relationships between creation and destruction, the feminine (matriarchal society) and the masculine (patriarchal society), ancient archetypes and contemporary society.

Scott works collaboratively with his subjects, asking them to bring items that are important (or sacred) to them, for which he arranges as a backdrop. Scott photographs his subjects as they are lying on the ground, thereby giving them an iconic body formation. His method includes photographing sections of the figure and then, working in a style similar to David Hockney, he later assembles utilizing computer software. The photograph(s) here is my figure as I am lying on a crypt in the Mount Royal Cemetery. I am surrounded by a small bouquet of heather, white roses, and thistles adorned with my mother’s ancestral tartan. I am holding an embroidered handkerchief while two of my journals lie nearby.

After the photographs were taken, I researched and selected a Goddess who I felt symbolized my past, present and future. I selected Dia Greine as my present Goddess who appeared in a Celtic/Ancient Scottish folktale as the daughter of the sun. Dia Greine was held captive in the Land of the Women (a synonym for the Otherworld), and she was freed by Cailleach (who was disguised as a fox), and a man named Brian. She had small white hands, she wore a brown robe fastened with a golden brooch, and she could be seen riding on a white horse. Her legend serves as a metaphor for reincarnation. I selected Dia Greine because her name translates in English as “the sun’s tear.” The sun’s tear is symbolic for the endless source of light and heat within me — the vital creative force that propels me forward on my search for new and challenging endeavours. It also represents how life can emerge out of chaos, survive on courage, and thrive on instinct. Like Dia Greine (with pale skin and small white hands), I too, have an appreciation for new beginnings and for the great people in my life who have helped me along the way.