Premaruupa – The Imperfect Goddess (Participatory Project)

Compilation offerings 

Looking at ideas of physical perfection  and the ideal of  Greek beauty,  I wanted to look at what would happen if we revered the imperfect or unusual, rather than beauty and perfection.  Premaruupa is an imaginary deity who symbolises imperfection, bodily and otherwise.  Her name is a combination of two Sanskrit words Prema – unconditional love and ruupa meaning appearance.  This is her Creation story.

In the beginning we were all in parts and only saw ourselves in parts.  We struggled our way out of the clay to make sense of ourselves, as a whole or a form. 

Premaruupa started like this too, but she came out of the clay in the wrong order.  Parts got lost and got added and ended up in the ‘wrong’ place, or in the ‘wrong’ shape.  It was in her nature, and in time those other people who had also struggled out of the clay started to realise this.

 Still they struggled to be whole, inside and out, until they decided it was  unavoidable to be parts.  They started to accept their parts, that came out in the wrong order, the wrong shape, that were added and taken away, or were missing.   As they loved Premaruupa for the strange thing that she was, and saw her beauty and their own, in incompleteness, far too muchness and imperfection.

In my Masters show I invited visitors to participate in the reverence and acceptance of the imperfect by giving her offerings.   Religion is often seen in terms of war and oppression, and it is forgotten that there may be another side to it in terms of healing.  Visitors offerings are shown in this gallery, click on any picture to start Gallery.

Their only record remains in photos and drawings as the clay was taken back to it’s source.  That is, it was taken back to wet clay.  This is the tradition in many cultures with offerings.   The offerings are made useless or destroyed completely, and it is only in doing this that they pass from the human realm, to the realm of  Gods and Goddesses.

Thanks to anyone who took part.



Of particular interest to me is our relationship with certain types of objects, in particular mementos, studying both my own and others .  The following study in film and photography, looked at one persons relationship with a piano left by her mother.  The relationship with the object reveals itself as similarly ambivalent and complex as was the individual’s relationship with her mother.  Click on any image to start Gallery.