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Judith Unger showing at Venice Biennale 2018


Artist / Designer / Creator:


23 × 15 × 10 in
"A Changing Narrative of Female Existence Over Time” “Leda” is part of a series of my sculptures entitled Mythological Images, my revision of the Greek Myth “Leda and the Swan”.   "A sudden blow: the great wings beating still Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill, He holds her helpless breast upon his breast." Excerpt from Leda and the Swan by W.B. Yeats     My rendering of this myth brings the legend into today’s context. It offers a changing narrative of female existence over time. Unlike the story of the ancient Greek Myth, this sculpture “Leda and the Swan” transforms herself into a powerful swan, who can fight off her attacker and protect herself. My version of Leda pushes towards gender equality. As I sculpted this series, I saw the strong sensual shape of the Swan and the Woman become one.   I studied at Rhode Island School of Design where I fell in love with Sculpture. Clay felt so right. The fluid sensuality in my hands.  Sensuality I learned to translate into polished sculpture. I need to sculpt and draw.  It is elemental to my existence.  I sculpt on circular forms, the exquisite harmony of a beginning and end merging in time. I live and work in rural Vermont. My sculpture has been deeply influenced by my visits to Venice. Venetian color and light so breathtaking. Gilded light on land, sky and water, a painter would need a new vocabulary of paints. My eyes fill with tears of joy every morning. Each time I visit Venice, I return home to my Vermont studio in an explosion of creativity. Each place, Venice and Vermont, magnifies the intensity of my work.   Excerpts from my Venice Journals “We stood applauding from the ornate Golden Royal Box centered in La Fenice Opera House. A wide private staircase sweeps up to the velvet and golden mirrored box overlooking a central inner view of the magnificent jewel box theater below. Mario Brunello, cello in hand conducts the symphony orchestra with his bow. He plays his cello exquisitely in an arena of complete silence. I hear the sounds of a flute and harp come from his cello. Marvelous. We stand and applaud. I loudly yell ‘Bravo’ and ‘Squisito’. I am told his mother sits next to us. She beams up at me as I smile at her and say ‘Congratulazione, your son is wonderful’ in Italian. She glances at my drawing pad and says I draw beautifully like Da Vinci. I laugh a loud laugh…   Organ concerts at St Giorgio, across the Gran Canale from St. Marco. I draw and the priest removes the ornate rope from the inner sanctum to offer me a seat on one of the ornate altar chairs. Drawing at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia Palace. The guard looks at my drawing and says, ‘It' beautiful’ Then offers me coffee, hoping to lengthen my visit. “ It amazes me that Venetians, surrounded by so much Art of the Masters, have so much awe, respect and appreciation for contemporary art. Art flows timelessly in their existence.” My work is a Celebration of Strong Women. My hope is that you enjoy my Sculpture and take a powerful memory of it home with you.  

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