Ballylarkin (Kilkenny)

This figure from the old church, now in the National Museum of Ireland,
has the skill and the beauty of Romanesque sculpture.
The vulva is almost naturalistic, the neck recalls those of Cycladic art and the work of Amedeo Modigliani.

The face has an expression also reminiscent of Modigliani, though the small high breasts are a little sad,
curiously outweighed by the rib-cage beneath them. The enormous ears, however, provide a satisfying balance to the carving.

If all other sheela-na-gigs seem like lampoons, caricatures or crude talismans in stone,
the Ballylarkin figure is truly poetic - indeed, erotic !