Green Women and Green Beasts - Green Lady

The Green Lady or Green Man is an ancient symbol and can represent many things, from vegetation and the sins of the flesh to the breath of the Holy Spirit. Like the Green Man, the Green Lady is often portrayed in wood or stone.

 

Also known as the Goddess of Spring, she is seen as the personification of the budding, growing, greening world. In this sense she is the embodiment of nature, occupying a space between the built environment and the natural environment. Furthermore, some view her as a heroic figure, emerging from the collective unconscious as a result of the planet being under ecological threat becoming a perennial symbol of our unity with the natural world.

 

The Green Lady is similar to notions of Mother Nature, the divinity of the spring from which life flows. Yet, as Alaimo points out there is often a division between nature and culture [1]. Nature is always outside, both physically and figuratively separated and is becoming more so.

 

There is a perceived dichotomy between people and nature when humans are an intrinsic part of nature. The Green Lady manages to transcend this being both ‘of nature’ and human’. However, as Griffin points out, overcoming the dichotomy involves the “attribution of other essential features of subjects, such as feeling, memory and aim or decision” [2].

 

The Green Women and Green Beasts work further questions the human/nature dualism by staging a ritual celebrating our connection with nature in a park: a manmade ‘natural’ environment.

 

 

 

[1] Stacy Alaimo (2000) ‘Undomesticated Ground: Recasting Nature as a Feminist Space’

[2] David Ray Griffin quoted in Stacy Alaimo (2000) ‘Undomesticated Ground: Recasting Nature as a Feminist Space’