I love the sentimental idealisation of the holy family. Especially the 50s idealisation. Soft colours, clean white skins in sensible clothing, and hippy representations of Jesus and Mary. Seriously this Mary and Joseph could be touring the country in a campervan. Everyone is smiling/looking smug/peaceful and generally all is right with the world.
It doesn’t accord with my understanding of religion/the 21st discussions of Christianity – and so I find it very compelling. In Australia, in c. 2013 we are still discussing abortion rights, women’s representation on boards, and gay marriage. It’s enough to turn Jesus in his grave….just get into the campervan, Jesus, it’s about to leave.
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.