Information from the artist, Joy Lynn Davis:
“12th Century Saraswati, Pharping, Nepal”
The original image was painted with acrylics and 23 karat gold on cotton rag paper. It was painted entirely in Nepal, though in several locations. I started it in my home in Patan while I had a week-long fever, later worked on it in my painting studio with the Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Centre in the Patan Museum, and finally finished it while staying at Namuna Ghar in Bhaktapur. Before I began, I made many visits to the site where this gorgeous sculpture resides in the lovely hill town of Pharping, in southern Kathmandu Valley. She is Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and creativity. In the early 1980’s her head was stolen, forcing worshippers to leave offerings on the neck. The head was later found and returned from abroad. It now resides in Nepal’s National Museum. The community has commissioned a new head and worship continues. The graffiti on the wall was done by local children, who ask her for help passing their courses. The children’s writing warms my heart. It’s sweet and funny. On the right, a student lists a very long list of classes he or she is struggling with. Another writes their name “+Saraswati” in Nepali. And my favorite – another writes “I love Niva” then crosses out “Niva”!