Saturday, November 1, 2008

Winona Cookie, Steampunk at its Best

A little while ago I came across this wonderful artwork called, 'Lady Godiva'. If the artwork itself would not have drawn my attention the title would have for sure. For those who don't know the story of Lady Godiva here's a small introduction.

"Lady Godiva was a noblewoman, married to Leofric Earl of Mercia. According to the legend she rode naked through the streets of Coventry in order to gain a remission of the taxations imposed by her husband on his tenants. Lady Godiva had asked her husband several times to have mercy on them, but without success. Tired of his wife's beggings, eventually he said to her that if she would ride naked through the streets he would grant her wishes. Of course he did not expect her to do just that, as she was a noblewoman, but he was wrong.....and so he reduced the taxation." source: Wikipedia

The lady Godiva was riding on a horse, which we know from the old paintings -- which is nothing like this steampunk lady made by Ramona Szczerba, also known as Winona Cookie, a very talented Californian artist and illustrator.

Her mixed media artworks are strongly influenced by the Victorian era. Combined with some industrial elements and a style that reminds you somewhat of old advertisements, she is one of the best steampunk artists I know.

Now, I have seen many versions of this legend but I have never seen anything like this, which is exactly why this artwork drew my attention. It is a true delight to see how old legends survive in new artforms, especially when they are so wonderfully made as the work of Winona Cookie. Her work is definitely worth taking a look and I think you will find it very intriguing to see how every artwork tells it's own fantastical story and keep you wondering for many hours.

You can view her illustrations as well as some mixed media artwork at her own website or visit her at Etsy, where you can find most of her mixed media artwork.

Also if you are not familiar with Steampunk and would like to know more about it please visit Wikipedia here.


Stephanie Holmes said...

Loved this post, loved the artwork and the story behind it!

Dante's Heart said...

Also from our beloved Wikipedia:

"The Godiva Procession, a commemoration of the legendary ride was instituted on May 31, 1678, as part of Coventry fair, and was celebrated up to the 1960's. The part of Lady Godiva was usually played by a scantily clad actress or dancer and the occasion often attracted controversy.... These annual processions were enlivened by constant rumours, beforehand, that the girl playing the part of Lady Godiva would actually appear nude, like the original. These hopes were eventually realised in a play staged in 1974, at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, entitled The only true story of Lady Godiva, in which Lady Godiva appeared naked, riding a motor bike."

I wonder if there is an allusion to the 1974 motor bike incident in this steampunk. An evocative work of art, certainly.