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(Contains: nudity, sexual themes and ideologically sensitive material)
I was recently involved in the Artificial Fiction show at Ayden Gallery here in Vancouver, a show whose theme was the exploration of the mythology and folklore and stories in our culture. Invitation made to me, the images and the stories immediately began conjuring in my mind. All of them, I discovered seemed connected in focusing on the women in mythology I considered some of the most nobel, yet who had been scape goats or figures of admonition.
In certain Abrahamic and Gnostic traditions Eve was not the first wife of Adam, but Lilith. She was created not of him, but along side him, from the same dust and clay. Being equal, she refused Adam's attempts to force her into submission, and to assume to "inferior" sexual position. When she made to leave him, the Creator sent after her a party of archangels to return her, and bend her to this domination. For millennia fathers, mothers, and societies, have told their daughters not to be like Lilith, but to be good wives, and to obey their husbands. I cannot imagine, looking back from our generation in history, this being something I could ever hear us telling our daughters. Perhaps this is a portrait of ourselves, a people who have chosen to empower and support women, though how successfully may be debated. I struggled to decide how to depict Lilith, whether in the moment of her subjugation or her defiance, but realized it was both states that defined her. 
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-01-05
:iconahemka:
ahemka Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2015   General Artist
Hi ! I featured your work here : ahemka.deviantart.com/journal/…
Have a nice day
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:iconpandora-inthesky:
Pandora-intheSKY Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015   General Artist
Thanks so much! It's an honour to be mentioned among so many gorgeous works!
Xoxo
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:iconseanpt:
seanpt Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2015  Student General Artist
I remember seeing this at Emily Carr this summer! Cool to happen across it here as well. Nice work :)
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:iconpandora-inthesky:
Pandora-intheSKY Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015   General Artist
Oh very cool! Yes it was in the grad show! I'm really glad you like it!
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:iconrikkiz820:
Rikkiz820 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Professional Photographer
Thank you for sharing your talent!!!! This is an amazing piece.
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:iconangela808:
angela808 Featured By Owner May 16, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
how long did it take you to draw this?
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:iconpandora-inthesky:
Pandora-intheSKY Featured By Owner May 20, 2014   General Artist
I can't remember perfectly, it was on and off over a week or two. The grass was pretty labour intensive. Maybe a couple of solid days cumulatively?
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:iconangela808:
angela808 Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
thx 4 the info
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:iconenyka-lien:
enyka-lien Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
This is brilliant.
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:iconnaomi-naumann:
Naomi-Naumann Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Wow. This is amazing and it has sucha strong statement. 

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:iconceruleansin77:
CeruleanSin77 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Very impressive technical artistry and the erotic content was very well alluded to, while being "covered" by the empowered lilith. Fantastic! 
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:iconwolfmanjl91:
wolfmanjl91 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
Very seductive yet uncanny.
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:iconlomaiwe:
Lomaiwe Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014   Artist
Incredible... that's all I can say.  Wow.
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:iconidlike2know:
idlike2know Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014   General Artist
I feel ashamed to look but can not look away.  'Her subjugation' and 'her defiance' is fully expressed and perfectly balanced. Haunting and sad.
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:icondrake4:
drake4 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Beautiful mixture :) Absolutely stunning :)
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:iconapollospace:
apollospace Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Professional General Artist
Very nice picture and story. Here in northern Europe we had before 1000 years of christianity a matriarchal culture. Not much left of that, but some shadows and old stories remained. There are always some nostalgic people ( or are they ahaed of their time???) that suggest to go back to such a way of life.
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:iconnedrekaerr1-13:
NedreKaerr1-13 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014
Wonderful work.  :clap:
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:iconcayligraham:
cayligraham Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Student
The two images layered on each other is so interesting. You did a fantastic job of aligning them. It's beautiful, really. Great job
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:iconpaquito-2:
Paquito-2 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
This is a beautiful design that would have probably liked Hans Bellmer.

Bravo
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:iconlittlemissnoface:
LittleMissNoface Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Student General Artist
Totally thinking the same here,
This is so wonderful! I do not know which face is more saddening, both so cold.
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:iconxissx:
Xissx Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow this is outstanding!
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:iconbeltaneh:
Beltaneh Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
Wow, you really mastered your skills :wow: It reminds me of the magic lantern effects
The concept is also great ^^

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:icononelillwitch:
onelillwitch Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
this is amazing. I absolutely love that you used only shades of gray for it. it's like lilth was a grey spot of eden, that no one talks about :}.
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:iconhquatrell:
Hquatrell Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so powerful. you captured her submission and defiance beautifully. Well Done!
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:iconeyetoon:
eyetoon Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
i can see her vagina. isnt that inappropriate??
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:iconbottled-mermaid:
bottled-mermaid Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
Awesome work and concept!
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:iconmountain-spectre:
Mountain-Spectre Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
awesome
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:icononanman:
Onanman Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Wow! Incredible work!
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:iconkitsune-mana:
kitsune-mana Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
really like how it shows almost two sides, her unwilling submission then her defiance.
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:iconmootherainbow:
MooTheRainbow Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
Captivating and elegant, very nicely done. The two images intrigue me, were you showing the contrast between the submissive open figure like Eve was made to suggest and the strong defiant and closed off stature of Lilith? Or is it a comment on Lilith's fate being forcefully subdued by the archangels?
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:iconqueenofthegems:
queenofthegems Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is sooo beautiful. I can truely see that Defiance and Submission, or as you depicted in your summary; as two sides of a coin or of a woman's state of defination. Excellent job!
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:iconblackdiamond13:
BlackDiamond13 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
this is extraordinarily powerful
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:iconaeryael:
aeryael Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014   Digital Artist
I know maybe it's not what you intended, but when I look at it I see the power of a woman who wants to decide when she'll say yes and when she'll say no. She has the autonomy to make her decisions and follow her desires, and her sexuality isn't there to serve anyone but herself.
It bothers me a little that you described it as "her subjugation and her defiance" - ther being, when she "closes" herself she's in defiance, but when she's "open" she's being subjugated. It sounds a little... rapey for me. So I'll stick with my interpretation. Hehehe...
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:iconmaryfairyforever:
maryfairyforever Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student
This is amazing! Heart 
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:iconangellux13:
AngelLux13 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
Exquisite work! That transparency effect must have been very difficult to create; it would take a century for me to take a stab at that. I love the stark contrast in her poses and facial expressions; they are just bursting with emotion.
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:iconmagdalenacaracol:
magdalenacaracol Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
really beautiful, but... is being on the bottom really "inferior"? it's easier on the woman, isn't it? less work, and it's better for conception, and if you know about metaphysics then you know that male energy extends forward while female energy retreats, sooooo as far as sexual positions go it's way more natural for the men to be "pushing forward" and the woman to be at the end of that pushing, than the other way around. i always found that sex when being on the top (I'm a girl) feels less natural and more contrived. idk. maybe lilith is just a woman who's never happy with anything. but anyway, the drawing is great. it speaks to me about a woman who doesn't love her man yet still feels the pleasure of his sex. her face is fabulous.
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:iconaeryael:
aeryael Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014   Digital Artist
I believe when it's said that Lilith didn't want to be on the bottom sexually, it doesn't mean literally. It's symbolic of her not wanting to be there only to please her husband or submit to him, but she wanted to be in the same position of autonomy and importance on the relationship. Nothing to do with preferences on being with your body on top or on the bottom. I also would like to disagree on your statement about female and male energies. Though it is considered that "female energy retreats and male energy extends forward", men and women are not representants of these energies purely. Every person, men and women, have both principles in them, some more, others less, and it can change in different moments of their lives. I think it's dangerous to consider that women are the incarnation of said "feminine", or "passive" energy, because this idea is culturally used to keep women in a subordinate social place, as if it was their nature to be so.
Regarding sex positions, I think every person will have their preferences. Certainly there are a lot of women who prefer to be on top and active, and a lot of men would like to be at the bottom. No gendered rules. Everyone just enjoy and be happy ;)
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:iconmagdalenacaracol:
magdalenacaracol Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
"I think it's dangerous to consider that women are the incarnation of said "feminine", or "passive" energy, because this idea is culturally used to keep women in a subordinate social place, as if it was their nature to be so."

I think that's a sweeping statement, and I disagree with it anyway, but w/e. It's a touchy subject. Subordination carries a lot of connotation, it depends on how you look at it, as does the question of "the nature to be so" or "ontology." By the same token, you could say it's dangerous to encourage androgyny within individuals, both physically and psychologically, for all the studies showing androgyny as a serious factor in the adverse disintegration of the western-society's family structure (emphasis on adverse, because for some people family structure can be more hazardous than good, and that's totally respectable).

Dangerous considerations from all angles, but everyone has a right to think/say them :) Everyone has a choice to think what they want about safe and/or dangerous statements.

And as far as the idea that there are no gendered rules: well, that's your opinion, it's not a fact. Many brilliant thinkers, biologists, psychologists, theologians, philosophers ponder the question of gendered rules and roles and there's no proof either way. I mean, it's your choice to believe that there aren't, but maybe someone from another culture or a particular religion can argue that there are. It's their prerogative. Like you said, whatever makes you happy, but I don't think everyone will agree that there are no gender rules, and I think people can be happy with gender roles. There are many studies asking Muslim women's opinions on their wearing hijaabs or burqas and data shows that there are certainly plenty self-respecting women who are more than happy living a life that perhaps a westerner would call "subordinate in society" because of her conditions.
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:iconaeryael:
aeryael Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014   Digital Artist
It seems to me you didn't quite get what I meant. I wasn't saying it's FORBIDDEN to accept or be happy within gender roles, though I personally believe that *compulsory* gender rules can't be good for anyone. I was saying there were no ultimate gender rules one should follow, and everyone should be free to do what makes them happy, without thinking what is "rightest" for a woman or a man to do. And believing all women are "naturally" or "intrinsically" passive is, yes, an idea that has to do with women's oppression in society, for it carries the concept that she was made for being dominated. Balance is needed. In chinese philosophy, every person, men and women, has the two principles - feminine and masculine - inside them. No one is exclusively one or another. While a female individual can, of course, be happy following whatever rules of gender in the society she lives, that doesn't mean this same society won't see her (and women in general) as inferior, objectifieable, rapeable, and so on, and that she will suffer the negative effects of this vision upon her in her life. And that's the problem I was pointing to.
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:iconmagdalenacaracol:
magdalenacaracol Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
Again, when you cut it out with the sweeping overgeneralizations ("it carries the case that she was made for being dominated" referring to an idea about passivity, which I didn't even argue for, I never even mentioned the term "passive") and stop passing off your opinions as absolute, maybe we can have an interesting and respectful exchange of ideas.
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:iconaeryael:
aeryael Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014   Digital Artist
By god, all I was doing is indeed expressing my opinions. I don't have to begin every phrase with "in my opinion, please excuse me" for it to be understood as my opinion and not absolute truth. I just wanted to respectfully disagree with you and express what I think, but received, in my view, a strangely defensive attitude. Anyway, I think because english is not my first language I may not be expressing myself as I'd like to. I'm going away now.
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:iconmagdalenacaracol:
magdalenacaracol Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
*shrug* Perhaps. But, it's always been my experience that it's better to make very clear what's your opinion and what's something that's nearly impossible to debate. Like, "the grass is green" that's something that's hard to debate if you're looking at the same grass, I think. But, if you're debating on invisible, metaphysical things (especially in writing, over the internet) it's important I think to always indicate what's just an opinion. It makes sense to me, sorry.
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:iconpandora-inthesky:
Pandora-intheSKY Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014   General Artist
Totally, I don't consider it inferior, which is why I used the quotations! When it comes to sex, it's so shaded and so nuanced and so rich and colorful, and for everything out there there's somebody into it, so I just say do your thing. I think "inferiority" and "superiority" are externalities, imposed onto sex. And you can even be into that too! And power to you! But not if it's imposed, and not if it's without consent. For me, I just want to be with someone I trust and I feel sees me as their equal.
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:iconmagdalenacaracol:
magdalenacaracol Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
Gotcha and I agree ;) Lilith's legend is a big topic in "theology of the body," hers is a legend I find really interesting, I think it speaks a lot to the issue of "inferiority vs superiority" (as you mentioned) and brings up submissiveness, obedience, dominance, sovereignty. like, if you believe that Lilith got a raw end of the deal because she was forced into being on the bottom, well then that leads into theological query, contemplating the Judeo-Christian god's design, whether the god created Lilith to be that way or not, what "free will" is all about, and the issue of Eve (Adam's "second-wife" if we consider that Lilith was his first) and her disobedience to God. did Lilith disobey just her husband, and not God? did Eve disobey just God and not her husband? they're all questions that arise in my mind regarding the subject in your drawing. really fantastic, thanks again for drawing her :)
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:iconjunie-d:
Junie-D Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student General Artist
Beautifully done. The descript was interesting as well, thanks for the clarity. :)
Congrats on the DD! :heart:
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:iconchocolatebat:
chocolatebat Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student General Artist
That was simply beautiful, what you said and your art. Both have such meaning to them, especially in our modern world.
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:iconchaos-in-compounded:
chaos-in-compounded Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
Goddamned beautiful. Adam was a fool; but then, he wasn't the only one.


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:iconquietlittleleaf:
QuietLittleLeaf Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
This is fascinating and I learned something about the christian mythology today. :)

Im astounded by the detail in the grass and flowers both on the ground and in her hair, and for this to be done in traditional media, is even more amazing. I also LOVE how depending on how you look at it, either face could be associated with each pose....and definitely change the tone of the piece. Great job and keep up the beautiful conceptual works!!
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:iconpandora-inthesky:
Pandora-intheSKY Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014   General Artist
There are actually tons of books of the Bible that didn't make the cut when they edited the cannon! And to tell the truth, of lot of that is the really juicy stuff;) Worth reading up on! Thank you so much for the kind critique!
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