Introduction by curator Jo Widoff
Jo Widoff: Welcome to the exhibition Monica Sjöö: The Great Cosmic Mother. My name is Jo Widoff, and I have been one of the curators of this exhibition.
With this special audio guide, you can listen to texts that Monica Sjöö wrote about her art and life as an activist, eco-feminist, and writer. For Monica Sjöö writing was an integral part of her practice and she wrote several articles, pamphlets and books on various subjects connected to her political convictions and her spiritual beliefs.
Among other things, she produced the pamphlet “Women are the Real Left” in 1979, together with her partner at the time Keith Motherson. It contained articles they had written over the years, some of which had been published in Peace News. This pamphlet is actually here in the exhibition in one of the vitrines.
In 1981 she published the book “The Ancient Religion of the Great Cosmic Mother”, which Sjöö wrote together with the American poet Barbara Mor and which was published by Rainbow Press in Norway.
In the track “Autobiographical Note”, we hear an excerpt from Monica Sjöö’s life description. The text was first published as part of the foreword in the posthumously published book “Spiral Journey: Stages of an Initiation into Her Mysteries”, published in 2018.
In the track “The Beginning of the End of the Patriarchy”, we hear Monica Sjöö’s story about an action she carried out with a group of women in the cathedral in Bristol. This text comes from “From the Flames – a Journal of Politics and Spirit” No. 10 from 1993.
Sjöö also reflected on her paintings in the catalogue of the retrospective exhibition “Through Time and Space: The Ancient Sisterhoods Spoke to Me” at Hotbath Gallery in Bath. We present a handful of these in this audio guide.
Once again, I wish you a warm welcome to Monica Sjöö: The Great Cosmic Mother.