God's Gift to Man

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
Found wood, found materials, paint, spray paint
47 x 42 x 20 inches
Collection of
Brooklyn Museum
Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Bessie Harvey searched for a way to convert the traditionally masculine connotations of the root into something newly feminine, as the truncated stump God's Gift to Man attests, with its labial red opening growing, like a root graft (or indeed like the Genesis account of woman's creation), from the riven trunk. Ameliorating—healing—two jarringly dissociated texts: the Bible that told her that Woman was made of Man and meant to serve Man; and lived experience, especially her childhood, when she was sexually violated.