AWE (A Woman’s Experience)

Priestesses, Prophets, and Paradox: Ceramic Relationships Between Ancient Israel and A Queer Latter-Day Saint


Maddison Tenney


ceramics, Israel, queerness, Latter Day Saints


As a Queer Latter-Day Saint, I often get asked the questions, “Why do you stay in Provo” or “Why do you stay at BYU?” and ultimately, “Why do you stay in the Church?” For me, one of the biggest reasons why I stay here is the depth of history of women who also explored liminal spaces within feminism, art, and the Church since its beginnings here in Utah. This discourse is important to me, and it feels deeply meaningful. So, when I started this project, I felt specifically drawn to create something that reflected the legacy of foremothers working in liminal spaces that I feel here at BYU and the legacy of prophetesses in the Bible. The women in the Bible I wanted to focus on also existed in liminal spaces that often conflicted with contemporary views of what a woman should be and do, and yet existed anyways. So, drawing from these two narratives, I decided to craft six vessels using the techniques of ancient Israel, the discourse of my current experiences as a female ceramicist, and the spiritual implications of having female prophets.

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