Copyright: All artwork/content protected under ©2007-2011 Lynne Ciacco

All content herein copyright © Lynne Ciacco

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Not Strictly Speaking

Okay, so I know I said I'd be working in my studio, and I was but, really, it was very hot up there and after I drifted downstairs for supper, I just never made it back up. Instead, I got caught up in another kind of studio...the Photoshop one.

Shirley Temple Sitting in Full Lotus
***NOTE: This image has been altered from the original one I posted and several of my remarks about it deleted due to a warning expressed in the comment box last week. What you see and read here is different from the original, potentially offending, post. There has been a lively discussion on freedom of expression in the comments below this post and on my Décolleté blog.***

The small mandala-like image in the centre, corners, and on the girl's bodice is actually part of a hooked wall-hanging I made some time ago.

Okay, my eyes are fried. It's 1:30 a.m. I think I'll pack it in. I'll be in my studio all day tomorrow--really!

DISCLAIMER! This image has no religious intent or meaning and is not meant to insult anyone's religious beliefs. It is only intended as an interesting art image and is created in the deepest respect for, though without reference to, all Gods and Godesses. And I further do not intend to insult any Christians who may resent a reference to any other sorts of deities other than their one true God.

People! I'm just having fun with images and colours here. If my work has any deeper meaning I'll be sure to let you know.

Update: July 7, 2010
I have decided to include the original "offending" image here below. 

See comments to understand the "controversy" this innocent image stirred up.


  1. Wow that was fun. I was going to ask you a simple question about this post. And ended up taking a tour of your art. It's wonderful. Then I forgot the question.
    Some of your subjects in the Maritimes just crack me up.

  2. Excellent, Susan! I love having my art laughed at. ;-D

    No, seriously, my Maritimes stuff was tongue-in-cheeky. And I really loved it when Acadian women would be standing in front of the exhibit, laughing and identifying with the scenes, or saying, "That looks like so-and-so."

    And the answer to your question is "yes."

  3. Interesting artwork, I'm glad I found your blog!

  4. Hey J, Great to see you here! I really get a kick out of your blog, too.

  5. Hi Louciao:)

    This is a Hindu Goddess. I would like to caution you that if Hindus come to know about this, they can take you to court for insulting their religious sentiments.

    In India many painters have been prosecuted for doing such things.

    Have a nice day Louciao:)

  6. Thank you for this information, Joseph. I was a bit worried about the possibility of insulting someone's religious beliefs, although that is not at all my intention. Interesting that representing the Buddha in different art forms seems not to stir up any sort of trouble.

  7. Joseph, I have taken your warning to heart and further altered the image so that it should not be misconstrued as representing any Hindu or other religious deity. It's only a girl in an elaborate costume sitting, literally, in full lotus.

  8. Hey Lynne,
    1) I like the fact that you're sensitive to the religious beliefs of others. In this day when giving offense for the sake of deliberately being "controversial", it's nice to have an artist friend who is more sensitive than that.
    2) I understand why you altered the image. Why would anyone want to create an emotional chasm between them and a large group.
    3) I know in my heart that you were unaware that your image would have offend anyone's sensibilities.

    Joseph --
    You may indeed be a kind-hearted man... I haven't yet explored your online identity... but I think you might have done Hinduism a better service by stating their sensibilities rather than their supposed penchant for litigation.
    I am speaking from the perspective of a US citizen, a country founded on a few simple freedoms, a couple being...
    1) Freedom of religion
    2) Freedom of expression
    Though I appreciate and support your right to expression, maybe a different approach would have better served Hinduism's cause.
    Please fill us in... enlighten us on the reasons why the previous image would be offensive and, even more importantly, what it is about India that lets litigation happen over a piece of art.
    David Lorell Hoskins
    Rochester, New York
    If you or any religious entity would like to contact me for enlightenment (or litigation), please contact me through my blog... Or even better, my address is clearly stated in my website...

  9. David, you are more than a Sparkle Mirror--you are a Precious Gem!

    The image you see here is not the one that Joseph saw, plus I did remove some flippant remarks that Hindu zealots could possibly maybe perhaps find offensive (God only knows what sets off zealots, though! Which god that would be, I'm not too sure...Oh crap, there I go again...)

    I don't think Joseph was defending Hinduism, just reporting events that have occurred in his country. He appears to be a deeply spiritual man, judging from the look I had at his blog. Not that I'm judging him!

    While he might welcome a discussion on religion with you, it is a subject I tend to avoid (as well as a practice!) But all its forms do fascinate me, especially the symbolism of each faith.

    I must admit to a marked degree of irreverence in myself. However, I prefer not to take it to a confrontational level, esp. with zealots!

    I hope no one takes up your offer to contact you for litigation purposes! LOL!

    Thanks for your moral support, David. Sparkle on!

  10. Anonymous8/25/2009

    I was shocked to read that this art is in some insulting a religion.
    I see so much much beauty in this art I am sure this goddess would love this is she saw it from her spiritual realm.

  11. Thank you, Julie-ann! The best of my intentions was love of the image of the goddess Lakshmi sitting in a lotus; the "worst" was my sense of her having fun and expressing human emotions while doing so. All reference to and evidence of those human emotions, plus her "extra" set of arms, were later deleted so as not to offend anyone's beliefs, and the image transformed into a Hollywood reference.

    Thank you for seeing her beauty as I sought to express it.

  12. Hi Louciao:)

    I am amused to read the various responses to my comment.

    I thought it was my duty to caution you and I did it without mincing words.

    I also appreciate the fact that you took my advice seriously and graciously.

    The beauty about you is that you have an open mind, the ability to distinguish what is good and what is bad. This is a quality to be admired and emulated.

    Have a bright and beautiful day Louciao:)

  13. Difficult to imagine how religions which could and should be teaching tolerance and promoting creativity could be so narrow minded as to want to muzzle artistic expression and promote intolerance. Sorry, but I can't grasp that... put me in the camp of the iconoclastic blasphemers I guess . . . without meaning to offend anyone, I just can't stomach intolerance... guess that makes me a paradox... intolerant of intolerant people... I'm confused now ! Where's Saj ? I need a drink ! (Of pure clean clear water, of course)

  14. Yes, Joseph, you certainly did stir up a kettle of fish with your first comment on this post!

    I think there is a line to be drawn between tasteful and tasteless and I prefer to stay within the tasteful zone. However, I do defend a person's right to freedom of expression, even if I do not agree with the ideas that they are expressing.

    In this instance, I saw fit to alter my words and image. Another time, I may not.

    I believe in balance and tolerance and shun extremism and extremists.

    Live and let live! (a good maxim for my Ragzedge blog)

  15. I'm not sure, Owen, that religions do promote or teach tolerance. Most religions seem to think their adherents are the Chosen Ones and the whole rest of humankind are infidels who will either rot or burn in some sort of Hell. (I hope they have cocktail hour there!)

  16. Yeah, you are right, in practice. I guess I should have said "ideally"...

    Here's to cocktail hour in hell... I'll meet you there, no doubt the Saj will show up too ?

  17. Yah, she'll show up looking HOT!


  18. Wow Lynne - I have scoured your website and visited every nook and cranny. Your varied works are simply phenomenal. Just when I thought I had seen it all you surprised me again with your creations ans I'm sure there are more surprises where these came from.
    Best Regards!

  19. Donald,
    I just discovered this lovely comment, 4 years after it was posted! Thanks you for the encouragement...which is very much needed and appreciated at this particular point in my life. I'm sorry that I am unable to contact you through blogger and that you will likely never receive my gratitude.