Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth
Like most of us, artist Edna Emmet had never heard of Inanna - the world's first goddess in recorded history. But once introduced to the "Queen of Heaven and Earth," the complex, beloved deity of the ancient Sumerians, Emmet was smitten.
"Being a woman myself, an older women, and having a daughter, I got so excited reading about Inanna's soul journey from her adolescence - where she confronts her fears and her sexuality - through her womanhood, her descent into the underworld, and then finally her ascension to divinity." Here finally was the full story of a goddess, a woman, in all her passages. And what better gift to give her own daughter on her 18th birthday, thought Emmet, than a personal interpretive paintings of this life journey.
Edna Kurtz Emmet's artistic accomplishments of the past 20 years are a reflection of a spiritual journey which began with several years in a Zen Buddhist Temple in Japan. There she internalized art as an expression of meditation. Her work reflects a wonderful blend of tranquility of peace and unrest of passion.
Born in Poland and raised in Israel, she experienced cultural polarities. Her quest to transcend the obvious differences and find the underlying unity became the guiding force behind her artistic achievement.
She pursued her formal training at Horensey College of Art in London from where she received her BA in Art and Design. Later she received philosophical grounding in Rudolf Steiner's teaching, which considers teaching of art as integral to courses in mathematics, language, humanities and sciences. She continued painting and drawing at the Tobias School of Art in Sussex in England, followed by further studies at Beppe Assenza painting school in Dornach, Switzerland.
The result is her series of abstract paintings drawn from the text of Diane Wolkstein's and Samuel Noah Kramer's Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth (Harper & Row, Publishers), itself a retelling of Sumerians tales, legends and songs inscribed on clay tablets and fragments dating back to 2000 B.C. (Sumer, the land of the ancient Sumerians, today is found in the southern half of modern Iraq, roughly between modern Baghdad and the Persian Gulf.)
Inanna's co-author Wolkstein would doubtless approve. "The world's first love story, two thousand years older than the Bible - tender, erotic, shocking, and compassionate - is more than momentary entertainment," she writes. "It is a sacred story that has the intention of bringing its audience to a new spiritual place. With Inanna, we enter the place of exploration: the place where not all energies have been tamed or ordered."
Presented here are her of 30 canvases celebrating the ancient legend of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna. These paintings trace the story of this inspiring woman from materialism to spiritually. Because of the recent events in Iraq, the message of Inanna is even more compelling as the victory of love over hate.
She is currently teaching art at The Waldorf School of Baltimore, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis and, the Rudolf Steiner Institute in Maine. She has exhibited in numerous notable galleries and her work is in important collections in the USA, Canada, Israel, Switzerland and Japan.
Diane Wolkstein, the celebrated author of Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth said the following about this series of Edna's paintings:
"Oh-…oh, oh, oh, OH… When I first saw Edna Emmet's paintings of Inanna, words poured out of my mouth, but I was speechless. The paintings were a revelation. I felt a mixture of awe, delight, and amazement. How had she been able to capture the essence of the text? It was as if, with each painting, she had sliced through a gorgeous impenetrable stone and revealed its inner essence. Where did she glean such insight?"