Prune Nourry’s Amazon exhibit is everything you need to believe in your own power again.
By Jennifer Grant
A warrior woman, at the corner of Washington and 13th street in New York, represents the triumphant return of Prune Nourry to wellness, as much as it stands in for the strength of all women. The installation, called “The Amazon” will be hosted by The Standard Plaza at The Standard, High Line for one more week. It is the ultimate cultural dog-walking experience. You and your fluffer will both be awed by its 13-foot height steeped in emotion and visceral experience.
Image: Louis Teran
Nourry is a visual artist known for tackling complex sociological issues. She incorporates sculpture with movement, science, video, anthropology, and cuisine. Of her past work, Nourry says, “For me, every project was a way to study humankind.” This one is more personal.
The figure of The Amazon was lovingly sculpted inside a huge warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It is a very personal piece that is deeply shaped by Nourry’s experience of seeing The Amazon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Wounded Amazon was the winning entry to a 7000-year old contest that had five renowned sculptors of the time, create a piece depicting a mythical race of female warriors, called Amazons. These statues were to be displayed in a temple dedicated to the goddess of nature, Diana (Artemis in Greek lore).
The Wounded Amazon. Image: Wally Gobetz
This elder warrior is just under 7 feet tall and can be found at the Greco-Roman wing of the Met. She is made from marble, showing torn robes and a gash below her right breast. Still, she stands with her arm lifted above her head and a serenely defiant look upon her face. This is the exact warrior mentality that Nourry adopted when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer.
Image: The Standard Plaza
The diagnosis came almost two years ago and shuttled Nourry into a grueling course of chemotherapy. She began the fight on her own terms, by asking her best friend to cut off the braid she had been weaving together every morning for decades. This friend described women undergoing cancer treatment as Amazon warriors. Thus germinated the seed that was planted when Nourry first saw The Wounded Warrior, and now blooms in raw power in New York City.
The acupuncture needles represent the human disequilibrium that leads to internal imbalance and disease. It is also a nod to Chinese medicine, which was a huge part of Nourry’s recovery from cancer (and its treatment).
Image: Prune Nourry
Other poignant works by Nourry include Holy Daughters (2010), that saw half cow/half girl sculptures abandoned in public spaces in New Delhi, India. The cow is a sacred animal in India, representing fertility. Nourry was making commentary on the consequence of scientific advancements in fertility technology allowing to select for males. Gender selection has created a disparity in Indian culture, whereby there are too many men. As the population of boys continue to outpace girls, violence against women is an unintended and horrific repercussion.
Image: Prune Nourry
Prune Nourry is an incredible warrior in her own right. The Amazon is a do-not-miss exhibit, and the best part is that you can take your dog with you. They are never too young or too canine to learn about art. Please let us know what you think!