Agnes Arellano Sculptor

Three Buddha Mothers (Tatlong Buddhang Ina)



Maiden, wife, crone. The cycle of birth, life, and death.

My trinity of mothers derives from the many mother-goddess paradigms in religion and literature - the most important to me being Robert Graves' 'Triple Goddess'.

Faceless Vesta makes the mudra [gesture] of generosity. She is the vessel of life who nourishes with milk and honey. Molting and breaking out from her burdensome cocoon, Dea's wings are folded. The sheltering Muchilinda* pose has been incorporated into the form of her body. She is strong and immovable. No longer fecund except in insight, Lola has the mudra of teaching turned inwards. She promises 'to lead men back to that sure instinct of love which he long ago forfeited by intellectual pride'. (Graves, Intimations of the Black Goddess).

These are not so much goddesses as buddhas - the Buddha never claimed to be God. By casting real mothers, my aim is to bring the divine dimension back into the familiar human figure - to stress the need to search for the sacred in everyday life.

* Muchilinda was a multiheaded serpent who spread his hood over the seated Buddha to shelter him during a storm.