A story of femininity and divine/otherworldly/ancient/pre-Christian family relations as portrayed by Rigantona, Matrona, Epona, Maponons & Tigernonos
‘When the light is gone, what remains?
Bloodless spectral white, shadow stains
The bower through which the ghostly owl sails,
Wails in the night, pale host.
Cavort with her whilst she is here,
Treasure blossoms like jewels dear,
When all is grey and the white owl swoops low,
Know that the dawn brings light.’
The Celtic goddess Rhiannon was revered for her intelligence, political strategy, beauty and famous for her wealth and generosity. Rhiannon’s etymological roots lie in within the queen Goddess Rigantona and her thematic symbology reverberates throughout many characters within the deeply interwoven mythologies.
In her maternal role, she is akin to the Celtic mother goddess Matrona. Additionally, she is believed to be related to the Celtic horse-goddess Epona and her son Pryderi, otherwise materialized as the boy-God Maponos. Pryderi is fostered by father figure Teyrnon, who is also envisioned as the Celtic god of Chieftainship, Tigernonos.
In the Mabinogi sagas, the earliest recorded British prose, these Gods and Goddesses have been reduced to the level of non-sacral legends. Power stripped, Rhiannon - this heroic divine feminine goddess - has been reduced to an auxiliary of the patriarchy. This devaluation is immediately witnessed in the first tale of the Mabinogi, where Rhiannon graciously submits to an undeserved penance requiring her to sit outside her husband’s court and recite her story to strangers as entertainment before carrying them on her back inside the court of her husband.
In his new collection MARK BAIGENT acknowledges the immense efforts and important role of yet another woman in history that had to dwell in the shadow of her patriarch superiors and creates a homage to this powerful goddess and patron of the arts.
Believing in a future of equality MARK BAIGENT wants to make people aware of the social injustices towards women who reside to this day.
Photography: Tash Serena Meltsner
Production: Melinda Yulian
Hair+Make-up: Klára Vejmolová
Models: Ty, Tristan, Ryan, Yani
Creative Direction: Mark Baigent