Sieglinde Battley

In archetypal symbolism, feet represent mobility and freedom.

Socially, shoes send a signal, a way of recognizing one type of person from another. In ancient times shoes were a mark of authority: rulers had them, slaves didn’t. In cold countries shoes are understood as instruments of survival. Shoes can tell something about what we are like, sometimes even who we are aspiring to be, the persona we are trying out.

RED is the color of life and of sacrifice. Life and sacrifice go together. Problems arise when there is much sacrifice but no life forthcoming from it all. Then RED is the color of blood-loss rather than blood-life.

According to Clarissa Pinkola Estes in her book “Women who run with wolves”, the psychological truth in Christian Anderson’s fairy tale “The Red Shoes”, is, that a woman’s meaningful life can be dried, threatened, robbed or seduced away from her, unless she holds on to or retrieves her basic joy and wild worth. The tale calls our attention to traps and poisons we too easily take onto ourselves when we are caught in a famine of wild soul.

Sieglinde was born in the town of Gumbinnen in East Prussia, which at that time was part of Germany and is now called Gusev and belongs to Russia. Most of my childhood and my early adult years I lived in Frankfurt am Main in Germany, where I was trained as a graphic designer. I lived and worked in Norway, Indonesia and Iran before settling in Australia in 1978.

I paint what I see, hear, feel and think every day and at night. I make up stories about this concoction and put it on paper and canvas. I often depict animals in my paintings because they live where I live. These creatures end up sharing the idiosyncrasies of friends, family, business associates and neighbours and they become symbols of my own fears, hopes and desires as well. Often I am surprised what looks back at me from my canvas. These accidents I love most because they might not be so accidental after all. -Sieglinde Battley