Nine women in a gallery: Witch


From the man who brought you art history’s most charming figure, the disconsolate cherub of Melencolia (1514)


comes the witch


riding backwards on her goat

She had to be there, right?

See her “unusually muscular torso”

And the “distaff that rises from her crotch”


“her appropriation of male power”

More of my Ballarat Women to come …


Image: Witch riding backwards on a goat, engraving, c. 1500, Albrecht Dürer from the exhibition, Radicals, slayers and villains: Prints from the Bailleau Library, currently showing at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.


12 thoughts on “Nine women in a gallery: Witch

      • Power changes people. Interesting. Yes. It’s all in one’s view of the word power too.

        Here’s mine. As a human being, I would prefer not to generate power (the power that is already there waiting) and have a situation I’m dealing with be different. Because then I may not recognise myself. I may be different to how I’ve become accustomed to viewing myself. So instead I stay stuck and complain and blame.


      • Interesting. I see it differently. Everyone has power. The question becomes how do they use it (or not use it)?

        Some people use it overtly; some use it covertly. It depends on your position in the situation. Even giving someone “the silent treatment” is an effective use of power if that “someone” is vulnerable to being shut out. See what I mean?


      • Lorna, I love that you give me the opportunity to articulate my ideas. It’s not the first time I know.

        I’m on a mission to reclaim the word “power”, to distinguish it from its imposter, force (aka coercion, domination, avoiding domination).

        I’m never more powerless than when I’m giving someone the silent treatment. Same for a person driving six inches from the bumper of the car in front, or honking their horn a split second after the light’s turned green. Zero power.

        It’s the same gesture, an attempt to dominate another (or avoid domination), and it arises from the experience of powerlessness. Wherever there is force, power is absent. Wherever there is power, force is absent.

        Power is a different experience. Power brings something new into the world. The experience of being powerful is one of exhilaration, ease, rightness, fitness, expansion, spaciousness, magic. When one is being powerful, no matter what circumstance occurs, positive or negative, it is accommodated, integrated. One is at ease and everyone in the vicinity of a person being powerful experiences the ease as well.


      • Also, as much as force might scare me (ie, someone else indulging in force, or myself indulging in force; if you look closely, it’s usually the latter that’s most scary), it’s power that really scares me.

        “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.” (Marianne Williamson)


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