Recap: The Divine Feminine Showcase


A Reflection on the Art + Performances presented – by Pampi
(I want to apologize ahead of time that as I was running around, I missed a bit of the performances, but will write in more after viewing the footage 😉
Testimonials below!!

Photos + Videos by Kavita, Holly Collins, Marion LaMark, S. Das, Umang Kumar, Onem Boreal

Event Program compiled by Loreto P. Ansaldo. CLICK HERE to see the SOS 2012 Program + Booklet, featuring the unbelievable body of work carefully developed and presented.

I will say it again. It takes a village.

NOON Temple Opened – we were scurrying till the final minute. but we did it!


Jasmine Quanta

Juhi’s whimsical pen and ink line drawings lined the whole of the house, the entrance hall and kitchen pantry walkway, and framed her larger bolder acrylic flower-themed paintings. She easily presented 40+ drawings! The nuanced interaction in her tiny characters certainly caught folks’ fancy in an almost story-boardwalk through the installation.

Onem Boreal

OneM went big and bold with life-size hot neon Goddess Guardians as sentinels transforming the living room into a neo-Mayan temple chamber, which one might imagine as a stop before sacrifice. A scorpion watching as you respect the floating babe bordered by an almost fluorescent energetic goddess to the right and an rotting bloodsucking androgymous one to the left.

We painted side by side in a narrow hallway for three weeks. A brief moment in time I will never forget. OneM’s quiet steady energy and kind words kept me motivated. And we had some hysterical moments with roommates coming up stairs, perfomers scurrying for dance space and naughty talk over feeding breaks in the kitchen 😉 The house became alive with dreams and fantasy whenever OneM was there.


My intention for the fabric pieces “I carry Devi in Me” was to challenge the typical representation of iconic females as cultural objects. I want folks to consider that they may carry the Divine right within themselves. Thus, I opted for a first-person life-size representation of an iconic body. To take her out of the mundane and into the divine, I was inspired to use OneM’s neon acrylics to take the brown body and make it hot.

My most complete project was the “Pop Fertility Goddess Series.” Winding up the entrance stairwell were digital drawings I did with bold colors over famous archaeological archive images of fertility goddesses found around the world. These 2D drawings are approximately measured to sizes big enough to hold in hand. Once this was completed, I was curious to hold them. This led to handmade playdough, a bit of sculpting and staining the dolls in the same color combos as I had explored in 2D. Holding them, I was curious to see them move, so I returned to 2D and explored story-boarding in acrylic and canvas featuring these fertility goddesses engaging in domestic? acts.

I also presented Neuth, a proportionally larger goddess that was draped outside my front deck all the way down to the porch out front.

Additionally, I announced my upcoming graphic poem “The Snake ate the Moon” that I hope to publish shortly.

Finally, I made my pants for my Yama Yami character

Natalie made goddesses too! In fact, she was our best-seller!!!

Jacob Kasell, deck installation, “Deck Her Halls Divine”

Jacob, Paul and I rigged ropes from a tall thin beam frame upon which my twenty off dupattas were tied with knots, creating an enchanting canopy of hot colors and transforming the deck into a sailed boat of sorts. I stapled my large fabric paintings to the beams. What was really lovely was when the wind caught the fabric and send it up, I could see the painting as a ceiling and it brought a dimension to the viewing that I enjoyed better than it being vertical like a panel. Kind of what I was originally going for… magical how conceptually things happen when you allow for chance 😉

Seth Heidkamp, sound installation

I will borrow Seth’s words in describing his installation: “The connection every person has with the Divine Feminine is the event of their creation. The sounds created for this piece are meant to evoke the experience of a newly forming consciousness through it’s gentle, rippling sounds that surround the listener.” And surround his sound did, completely transforming the house into sonorous heaven. At first, folks were hesitant, but the sounds were so hypnotic it literally seeped into your body.

Here’s a Walkthrough the Temple’s Sound Installation!!

Catherine Judge + Paula Rendino Zaentz, video performance
“Mater Panis (Mother Bread)”
a meditative video installation which explores the question, “Where were the women the night of the Last Supper?”

We projected it onto the walls of Adi’s bedroom. A quiet meditative film showing the making of the last supper. Being in the room drew me away from the bustle of Temple feasting and activity. An alternative reflective space was made.

Here’s a Clip from the Video:

Nargis Khestoo, live beading
“Durga Divine Deity”
A live beading of Durga on her tiger will be done at the Temple of Infinite Love. This project to completion should total about 300 hours.

A force of nature, Nargis. As moved as she is with he warrior goddess, she manifested a brilliant version when she walked in with her hot pink number, delightful laugh and earnest conversation. All while beading!

1:00 Invocation of The Divine Feminine – Ali played flute, Tanya’s mum the conch, Melissa handed our flower buds as we ushered guests to the deck

1:10 Saraswathi Jones: Om Saraswathi Namasthubyam: Sloka to the Goddess

Here we are Invoking!

1:20 Melissa Huser + Alison Dagger, movement and flute
“Re-telling the story of Yemanjá”

In my opinion, this was a great opening piece, displaying not only heart but skill. Alison Dagger is an accomplished flautist and Melissa Huser an Odissi dancer. Together they called on the spirit of Yemanja to descend and bless our deck for performance. Just exquisite. Alison’s flute like a story-teller spinning sounds that inspired Melissa’s delicate fine movements that literally materialized the Divine on deck like a shining mirage.

The video:

1:30 Hot Lava Mamas: Deb Picard + Tali Freed + Nargis Khestoo, original songs
“Journeys of a Woman” – freeing, understanding, uniting, empowering

These women HAR MON IZE. Debbie’s deep resonant tones, clear words and Natali’s sweet feeling voice create a mellifluous harmony hard to top. Nargis busts out with spoken word urging folks to reflect.

1:55 Joshua Putnam, poetry
clarifying and celebrating the real women who have illuminated the concept of the Divine Feminine in my life

2:10 Adi Rattner + Pampi + Melissa Huser + Ishani Das,
“O Mother, Raise us up!” Original poem song drum and dance!
grappling the personal to the political in the study of state control of the female bodied and the feminine

A reprise of a piece we did a month back. This time, with my sister reciting live. It felt good.

2:30 Martin Case, original score
A Sacred Sonic Space for Meditation on The Divine Feminine

Pure joy. I reached out to Martin and couldn’t believe he decided to come create this. A warm kind introduction and mad skills. A rare moment I could relax my jaw and just play with my girls, dancing on deck! Girls I haven’t held in ages and girls I hug daily. weeeeeeee!

Here’s Martin playin’

2:45 Cake Walk for Saraswathi , cake by Natalie

3:00 Question/Answer with Installation Artists

3:30 Jada Yvette with Seth Heidkamp & Tanya Palit, original song
“Play it Hot: Eros in a cold world”
a collection of songs that dismiss the aloof and reclaim the power of the courageously available

Jada is certainly courageously available. She featured original pieces I’ve been hearing about for years! With Tanya on violin and Seth on guitar, the woman made me cry, especially that last number.

3:50 Natalie Elpek + Adi Rattner, improvised dance
Recapturing the Feminine Essence by letting go of what holds her down

Ballet on a humble deck? Why, yes! Our deck!!! Secret delight to take such a revered classical dance form, remove much formality, and bring it quite literally, home. My darling sweet roommate Adi and my friend with whom I studied Keats in high school Natalie. How much closer to home can one get?

4:10 Yim Tan Wong, poetry
Exploring the Divine Feminine: My Experience of and Relationship to Religion

Loreto writes::
“… [Yim Tan’s] reading voice is so soothing yet strong….
I especially loved the last one.”

4:30 Melissa Huser + Pampi, improvised dance
“Releasing the Apsara from stone”
Trained in classical Indian temple dance forms, Pampi (Bharata Natyam) and Melissa (Odissi) break from the sculptural forms of their respective training into improvised movement, testing
the bounds of formal dance education and the desire for liberated movements

If nothing else, our eye contact was intense. And just as well. When you sculpt a doll like Melissa, you can’t take your eyes off her – especially when she begins to move and dance with you!!!

4:50 Saraswathi Jones, Original songs
“An Indian-American Goddess laments”
The Goddess incarnate and emcee for the afternoon gives her offerings in song. Some more divine than others.

Saraswathi debut’d last year on this same deck and this year she graciously emcee’d and sang songs of wisdom, chutzpah, and stories of yore relevant right now.

5:15 Mali Sastri, Original songs
Songstress Mali Sastri of Boston-based art rock collective Jaggery, shared original solo pieces.

With a horse harness buckled over a white turn of last century dress, her seat protuding between her thighs, this gothically glorious creature got the birds chirping in full out sun, possibly in alarm. but no matter, the moment seemed as charmingly sweet as her words were deeply unsettling in song. She filled the deck with crying voice, shattering any hesitation of her power to will the Divine to descend to her

Mali’s “Seven Stones”

5:35 Pampi, Improvised dance
“Yama-Yami (half-female half-male deity): Re-interpreting Gendered Temple Stories in Dance”
In improvised movement, Pampi, as Yama-Yami, recounts the love story between the feminine and masculine right within.

Working working still working this out. Felt good to just do this in front of friends.

5:45 Four Elements, Improvised Contemporary Chamber Renaissance Funk Music
Improvising to the Divine Feminine

This quartet gets folks buzzed. A perfect wrap to an intense day of performance. Warm and mellow like the setting sun behind them

Karen: I’m so glad I went—great art and great performances!

Natali: This was awesome! Thanks!

Ali: It was a pleasure to participate yesterday! Thank you to everyone

Mali: i had such an amazing experience as part of this event. met so many new beautiful souls ~ please keep in touch, y’allz!

Bridget: This sounds awesome I wish Id known earlier so i could be there! Mali Sastri Martin Case and Paul Erlich all at the same place! I am sad i missed the Yemaya part!

Marion: … I came close to tears so many times (especially when YOU came close to tears…) I apologize but it might not be until later tonight that the photographs from the event go up. You are an inspiration. Truly. Not just photographically, either…the event, in all it’s entirety, was beautiful and moving… I can’t wait to upload my photos to facebook that I took at this event…I’m really excited about it…

Holly: What another amazing day at the Temple! So much beautiful art and people! Thank you.

Leah: this was a beautiful event!! i loved coming to your home – making the art into the everyday and the everyday into the art. thank you for hosting!

To Seth
Loreto: Your music added a layer to the event that make it twice as good!
Jada: In and out of utero