Magic of Feminism : La Magaria

Samantha Daniel

Brock Visual Art student Lisette Costanzo presents an exhibition consisting of paintings, drawings and installations that were inspired by La Magaria (Italian for witchcraft), metaphysics, and the divine. Costanzo is an intuitive artist and reiki master who has studied metaphysics for approximately twenty years. She primarily focuses on uniting the physical and the metaphysical through high realism and other-worldly themes. Lisette utilizes her artistic crafts as a means of channeling her spiritual practice in search for higher truth. The exhibition was on display from October 11— October 31. It is located at the Visual Arts Exhibition Space at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

The exhibition consists of nine pieces all encompassing the underlying theme of power, wisdom and development of the inhibitions held by women. In a statement from the artist herself she describes, “La Magaria translated from Italian is ‘witchcraft. Witchcraft was the first science and medicine.” Through her pieces she conveys, “it is the observation of nature, the bridge between the physical and spiritual, and the reverence of the Divine Feminine (Gaia) within everyone. It is the balance between the individual and the collective; one’s connection to the ever flowing whole. Witchcraft is also the acquisition of knowledge, development of personal power, and the wisdom of application. It is both the manifestation of the will and the surrender of the ego. “

Through Costanzo’s striking pieces you can see the messages of empowerment of the female body, mind and soul. All pieces share similar color schemes of rich browns, dark black backgrounds surrounding pale, white figures of women all holding a dark sphere of some sort. “Obsidian is black volcanic glass, and has been used since antiquity for the divination art of scrying. The metaphysical properties of black obsidian include (but are not limited to) grounding one to Mother Gaia, cleansing psychic smog and providing psychic protection, aiding in the development of the Third Eye and the sight, and revealing one’s deepest hidden truth.” All but the piece ‘Eye of the Raven #4- Love is the Language of the Soul of the Universe’ which spans 90” x 78” the biggest canvas of all the pieces differs in that it exhibits the universe perhaps according to Costanzo, “… suggesting that there were in fact three gender spheres within Nordic cultures, Male, Female and Witch – to acknowledge those who transcended the boundaries of the mundane and who walked between the worlds.”

She further notes, “patriarchal religious, governmental and educational institutions have sought to stamp out the Divine Feminine, and the healthy, intellectual and spiritual development of humans from the cradle to the grave.” Her pieces can be considered a response against this patriarchal ‘force’ that can still be found within today’s society. “Children are taught to fear ghosts, rather than to embrace the teachings of their spirit guides; to fear death, rather than to embrace the cycles of life; their very intellect is stunted by the encouragement to believe without question, rather than to think critically, to question everything, and to challenge all forms of authority; they are denied the development of self-confidence when forced to worship external clergy, celebrities and physical possessions, rather than looking inward to develop the divine spark within.”

The female figures depicted in her pieces all display some degree of nudity. To this, Costanzo explains, “my skyclad witches playfully balance the obsidian sphere in Pagan ritual nudity – each embracing her own personal truth, power and equality. La Magaria embodies the ancient teaching written above the entrance to the temple of the Oracle of Delphi, “Know Thyself,” This saying is strategically found at the entrance of the exhibition space at the Marilyn I Walker. It is this attention to detail and thoroughness that adds to the viewing experience of La Magaria.

The thought provoking pieces also include illustrations of small outlets containing tea lights embedded with quotes relevant to the pieces. One that resonated with me from the artist titled the Truth Seeker, “ the one asking the question, is closer to the truth than the one giving the answer.”

Costanzo notes, “the juggling of the sphere is the respectful balancing of celestial power, the embracing of La Magaria and the divine inner spark.” She uses her talent, artistic crafts as a means of channeling her spiritual practice in search for higher truth. While perhaps, evoking the same thoughts to those who come into contact with her pieces.

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