"The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago is an icon of feminist art, which represents 1,038 women in history—39 women are represented by place settings and another 999 names are inscribed in the Heritage Floor on which the table rests. This monumental work of art is comprised of a triangular table divided by three wings, each 48 feet long." (For more info, and visuals, check out this page.)
Along the entrance hallway to the exhibit, there hangs six tapestry banners, which I personally found very compelling. Here they are:
The message on the tapestries really resonated with me, as I have been working on a poem with the same theme. (Incidentally, the tapestries were apparently completed in 1979, the year I was born, which I think is pretty neat.) Here is a "rough draft" of my poem:
Oh, brother, sister, when did we begin
this forgetting of our true names?
this pretending of race, of rank, of age,
of this and that, of me and you?
When did we begin believing that we were separate,
when once we danced together—
shapeshifters, melding and flowing seamlessly in the light?
When did we stop tasting the love God
(and of ourselves) in every moment,
breathing it as air, drinking it as water?
Oh, my lover-friend, it is sad, this forgetting.
And yet, we pause now, and together,
The Garden is yet among us!
If we have not felt it, seen it, KNOWN it,
It is because we have banished ourselves
into the dark dankness of our own minds.
No matter, my friend, for in this moment,
And I inhabit her now, through the joy of my mind,
And I sense you, too, now , in the space of my heart.
And I feel your hand now as it once more clasps mine.
And with our feets, our hearts, our voices,
we rejoice together, once again, in the light.
I bought a copy of The Dinner Party banner postcards (as I scanned above) and am seriously considering creating a home "installation" involving these 6 postcards and my own Eden poem--most likely on my blank dining room wall. The cards have a a lot of red and gold that would match my downstairs colors perfectly!