The Artist Birthday Series

Helen Hardin

Bountiful Mother made in 1980 represents two aspects of motherhood from the Pueblo and Hopi culture: Corn Mother and Mother Earth. The cultivation and consumption of corn was so central to the pueblo culture that it was “… a living entity with a body similar to man’s in many respects …the people built its flesh into their own.” In the work, the woman’s fertility is symbolized by the kernels of blue corn of her body.

blue corn mother

In 1981 she made the self-portrait Metamorphosis: “The features were contained within a perfect circle, a Jungian archetype of psychic wholeness and the symbol for Hardin of life itself, but everything else about the painting was fragmented, jagged and asymmetrical,” said Jay Scott, her biographer, of the “tormented pieces of her life.”

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