Artist's Statement & Biography
God was a woman for almost 30,000 years before the conquering Indo-Europeans around 3000 BCE began to change the gender. Gradually the goddess lost power to the god and by the time the western religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam were established, even her diminished role ceased to exist. Most people don't realize that the female represented the supreme deity in ancient times. More than 10 years ago I discovered a pre-Greek goddess figurine that prompted me to do research in three areas: archeology, ancient religious mythology and the early history of Western religion. My investigations showed that the pre-Greek goddess was not an aberration but actually a mainstream deity. Before this I had never questioned the image of God as a male, but realized that this gender bias had likely influenced the status and self-image of many women negatively. Once I saw how pervasive and important the female god was, my own feelings of self-worth grew, changing the course of my life and art. Subsequently, I began to put those feelings on canvas in a series of life size paintings that portray modern women as images of deity all with roots in ancient mythologies. Using symbols from the earliest of goddess religions, my paintings also include the old scripts of Greece, the Celts, cuneiform and Hebrew. My work is designed to place ancient religious prototypes in an aesthetic framework. But the more important point is to send a message: to convey the importance of bringing back the feminine in religion. I believe that its critical to restore balance to the exclusively masculine perspective that's reigned for thousands of years. It's my belief that religion influences culture in ways that are so subtle as to be incomprehensible, even affecting those who aren't religious. In the painting of the Shekinah I portray what I see as the zenith in mythological philosophy with the integration of the male and female principles. This is demonstrated by the union of God with his feminine counterpart, the Shekinah. An image message can be powerful because what we see influences how we think. Hopefully, I've challenged the viewer to consider the divine in a broader way that will include the feminine as well as the masculine.
Pat Fulmer holds a BA, MA, EDS from the University of Alabama and an MFA from the University of Memphis. She has done post Graduate work at the Arts Students League & The National Academy in NYC.
Her one woman exhibitions include:
1985 “Outstanding Women of Atlanta,” Cloister Gallery, Sea Island, GA.
Art & Architecture Tour, Atlanta, GA which over 2000 people attended. She exhibited her portraits at Neiman Marcus and Tiffany’s in Atlanta, GA, 1986.
“Images of the Divine Feminine”, Karpeles Museum, Santa Barbara, CA, 2006.
She participated in many juried exhibitions in Atlanta at the Aronson Gallery from 1982-1986 and also exhibited at the Shirley Fox Gallery in 1983. In Williamsburg, VA she won “Best in Show” at the 20th Century Gallery, an affiliate of the Virginia Museum of Art in 1997 in Williamsburg, VA and exhibited in an invitational show at the Jewish Federation, “Sacred Sights and Sites” 2004, Santa Barbara, CA.
Her achievements include:
First Vice-President: Emory Women’s Club 1982
Vice-President, President of The Portrait Society of Atlanta, 1983 and 1984
Feature of the television show, “Portrait of an Artist,” 1995.
Included in “Who’s Who in American Women.”
Organizations include: Founding member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC and the Board of the University Art Museum, University of California at Santa Barbara since 2002.
She is currently working on a manuscript titled, “The Rise and Fall of God as a Woman.”