Plastic Goddesses

Yesterday I carried the top portion of the complete mannequin, and the tiny doll, to the 4th c bce Lycian tomb cut into the cliff face just down the road from my apartment and photographed them in it. Later, I took them to the Kucuk Cahil (Little Pebble) Beach, the beach and derelict rusted bathing platform at the edge of town, and the promontory overlooking the bay on which are Kas’ two helicopter landing pads.

In ancient times, this area of Turkey used to worship Apollo (the sun god), Artemis (the moon goddess) and, particularly, Leto, their mother. The lover of Zeus, Leto was commanded by Zeus’ wife Hera to spend an eternity wandering from country to country and spent most of her enforced holiday time here in Lycia. Most of the temples in this area are dedicated to these three deities. In addition, Aphrodite, the goddess of love, is said by Hesiod to have been born from the sea foam generated by Oranos’ castrated genitals at Cyprus, not too far east and south of here. I thought about these ancient legends as I selected sites for my plastic goddesses.


Here is a poem dedicated to Aphrodite (called the “Kyprian” or “Kypris” because she was born on Cyprus) by the 3rd c bce Greek woman poet Anyte:

“Kypris keeps this spot”

Kypris keeps this spot.

She loves to be here,

Always looking out

From the land over

The brilliant sea. She

Brings the sailors good

Voyage, and the sea

Quivers in awe of

Her gleaming image.

See pictures of the project to date here.

Read more about goddess Leto here.

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