Mystical Origins in Arla Patch’s “Godbody”
Godbody (Copyright 2012, Arla Patch, All Rights Reserved)
The rich colors, shapes and forms of Arla Patch’s Godbody combine to portray the female body as bountiful and containing of a sacred inner life. Similar to Patch’s Please Abide with Me, discussed here, Godbody represents one of the artist’s unique coil drawings, a technique that comprises coils of colored polymer clay used to depict form. As opposed to the earthy colors of Please Abide with Me, however, those of Godbody are more divine, rippling over the body like a sublime rainbow. Leaves, vines, and flowers are woven throughout the torso, a blue lotus opening up between the breasts and up towards the throat. Two ripe acorns rest at the place of the ovaries, cradling an intricate lily and leaf, which stand at the place of the uterus. A single green butterfly floats at the central chakra of the solar plexus.
Patch’s works typically celebrate all phases of the female physiological experience, including fertility, pregnancy, birth, and menopause. Godbody is particularly useful in the visualization of fertility and pregnancy, providing women with a lush image through which they may envision the fecundity of their own bodies.
As its title suggests, Godbody is a work that acts to sacralize the female form. In our correspondences, Patch has described the work as one of mystical origins for her,
“Put Yourself First” I heard the voice say as I got to the top of the mountain. This is heresy. To be selfish is one of the greatest sins, especially for women. But at some point, it can be your best advice. As soon as I heard the words, I saw myself step into this godbody that I wear under my skin.
Patch has also explained to me that Godbody and Please Abide with Me are “like twin daughters” for her.
Arla Patch, BFA, ED., MFA, is a creativity midwife, writer and artist whose own life generated the focus of her life’s work. An early trauma history sowed the seeds of a transformative recovery. Her artistic nature led her to use art as a tool for healing for herself and to support others in their healing.