Coventina’s Well

It is not every day that one can reinvent a goddess. During my stay at the British Museum, I stumbled upon a hoard of over 13,000 coins recovered from a shrine dedicated to the Celtic goddess Coventina. Dating from the end of the second century, these coins were tossed into a well as votive offerings to this nymph of wells and springs and lay undisturbed until the end of the nineteenth century. They were identified and arranged according to the emperor and used to analyze the movement of commerce at the time. Then for over a hundred years, they lay dormant in a large cabinet. There seems to be virtually no known folklore or mythology around Coventina, in spite of her ancient origin. My goal was to create a pictorial storybook in honor of this little know Goddess. 

The night before my final day photographing in the British Museum, I dreamt that I made love with the goddess. After our pleasures, we sat happily on the couch in my studio. She turned to me and said ˜look at the end’. I awoke to ponder the meaning. Admittedly, I had only looked at around 8000 of the coins as the remaining ones were mostly small broken pieces. I opened the last drawer and to my amazement found this coin: Coventina’s gift.