Australian Madonnas [sold]

Australian Madonnas, c1950sMadonnas
made in Australia c.1950s

I am the first to admit that I have an eclectic collection. I would say that growing up in Canberra [the Nation’s capital] in the 70s has A LOT to do with my collecting compulsion. We had a new house. It was in a new suburb. It was empty except for the basic necessities. 70s necessities…

So I love kitsch, and vintage and retro stuff. And do I like icons, and Madonnas!  Yes, yes I do.

Which brings me to this lovely trio. My favourite has to be the sea-shell landscape on the left…complete with sand to reinforce the natural theme. Mary loved a good walk on the beach and here she is at Bondi – a quintessentially Australian Madonna.

The Madonna on the right is backlit by a strange [coffin-shaped] element. I’m not sure of the iconography happening here, but I do like the backlighting. And the middle picture is untitled so I’m not sure who is praying to Mary, but I do like that her blue robe is similar to the blue in the [coffin] Mary.

Ah the 50s! Nothing was sacred, and shell-craft and blue plastic was de-rigueur.

For sale: $AUD45

8 thoughts on “Australian Madonnas [sold]

  1. YOU? You have eclectic collections? NAH!
    So, I’ve been meaning to ask you and another friend who lives near Amsterdam this. The three of us love Madonna statues. We should swap statues, and continue the collections. Madonnas from all over the world. I’d love for some of our American pottery to hit Australia and you keep your little collection going. 🙂

  2. I think the coffin-shaped thing is supposed to be a niche in a church or chapel, Gothic style.
    I find these things terrible, of select and choice tastelessness. They are so bad that in a sense they are good again, but only in a sense. Brrrr. 🙂
    Hope you don’t mind. It is good you collect such things, they are worth being documented.

    • yes, i guess mary is in a very narrow, back-lit niche. i do concede that this is kitsch at it’s most extreme- and not having had a religious education/upbringing helps one appreciate the kitsch in an ironic way. my favourite is the mary in the seashell panaroma..it seems to my modern eye to be so tacky as to verge on being irreligious- but not being religious, i can’t tell.

      • You can see a lot of such kitsch items in catholic homes, like velvet pictures of Jesus and Mary and stuff like that. If you are in Rome and you go towards St. Peters Church in the Vatican, there are tourist/pilgrims shops left and right selling things like that. Terrible 🙂
        I think the Kitsch spectrum goes from the relatively harmless garden gnome variety through this religious stuff all the way to ideological kitsch (see the two articles on Kitsch on my blog, Thanks for following, by the way).

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