The Structure for Investigation into The Last Women

The structure for the development of The Last Women takes its inspiration from the ancient Sumerian myth concerning Inanna (also known as Ishtar) and her descent into the Underworld, through seven gateways.

This ancient myth has great significance for me in the many years I have been developing the performance work. It has been like a guiding light and anchor point containing the essence of what makes a great story with resonance for how we live our lives now. It embraces contradiction and duality – physically, intellectually and spiritually. Far from being dark and foreboding, depressing and desperate, it contains a lightness, humour and eroticism that is liberating and important.

Thresholds and Gateways

When I began working on The Last Women in 2006, I decided to take the idea of Thresholds and Gateways: strong images in the story of the descent. These images I had explored in Godiva, the Naked Politician (pictured here).

There are seven thresholds/gateways in the Inanna Descent Myth. Each threshold/gateway requires Inanna to surrender something of her power: her crown, her necklace, her twin egg stones, her breastplate, her gold bracelets, her measuring rod of lapis lazuli and her robe.

Carran Waterfield