Monica Sjöö

Monica Sjöö, was a Swedish painter, writer and a radical anarcho/eco-feminist who was an early exponent of the Goddess movement. Her 1987 book, ‘The Great Cosmic Mother’ helped revive what she considered the ‘hidden history’ of the Goddess and her paintings transformed ancient images and symbols into contemporary icons of female power.

She was fascinated by the old goddess religions, and images related to this research frequently figure in her paintings. Her painting “God Giving Birth” has become an iconic work of feminist art. Depicting God as a powerful woman in the process of giving birth, it caused outrage when it was first exhibited in St Ives in 1970.

In her works, Sjöö attempted to express her religious belief in the Great Mother as the cosmic spirit and generative force of the universe. She often used imagery in her paintings which make reference to birth, the female body and nature. All of these images appear in “Earth is Our Mother” and “Dancing Women, Dancing Stones” which feature naked female figures and vaginal caves.