In Norse mythology, Valkyries decided the fate of warriors in battle, and those that were chosen for death were taken by them to Valhalla where they received a hero's welcome by Odin and other gods like Thor, and served mead. Recent archaeological evidence suggest tales of Valkyries existed well before 700 AD. Their role in ancient mythology was not unlike that of the celestial maidens of Asia or angels in Judeo Christian religion in that their main purpose was to perform the bidding of a supreme heavenly being such as Odin or Jehovah. I based my sculpture on my favorite Valkyrie, Brunhild (or Brünnhilde in Wagner's epic Ring Cycle opera: Die Walkure). In this operatic tale, Brunhild defies her father's (Odin's) order by second guessing his true intent, which angers him even more. But as much as he is angry with Brunhild, he allows her to have some say in choosing her own fate - revealing how much he loved her of all his Valkyrie daughters. This piece is meant to capture the moment that Brunhild descends from the heavens as she is transformed by Odin into a normal woman and about to be laid to sleep surrounded by a ring of fire, ensuring that only the bravest of heroes will be able to pass through it to save and claim her. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.
Wet clay model