Cactus Gallery LA
LOUHI, Mistress of the North by artist Ulla Anobile
Paper mache, acrylics, mixed media, 17" x 14 1/2" (face: 9" x 6")
LOUHI, Mistress of the North, is the villainess in the Finnish national epic Kalevala. A powerful, shape-shifting witch, she gave the heroes all sorts of trouble. When she stole the Sun and the Moon and hid them inside a mountain, even the overgod Ukko couldn't find them. She released them taking the form of a bird.
Louhi is said to be the daughter of Tuonetar, the Mistress of Underworld. Among Louhi's daughters are Kivutar (Pain Girl) and Vammatar (Sister of Hurt), whose portaits are also included in the show.
The symbol on her forehead is of a Northern witch. The thunderbolt, often seen as the emblem of powerful male gods, is featured to indicate her strength. The wings tell of her shape-shifting abilities, and the symbol on the chin is Ulla's version of 'power'.