A timber framed image, a metal wall plaque and two plastic icons- all starring the Madonna- as seen through the lens of history from the 50s. Beautiful, slim and oh-so Caucasian, Mary is also quietly assertive, if somewhat humourless. At least she doesn’t look like a hippy, unlike the unfortunate rendering of Joseph.
I have been collecting Madonnas for the better part of twenty years and it’s the Mary’s from the 50s that appeal the most. Contemporary Mother of God’s look harried and cross and seem to have hastily applied make-up; but by contemporary I mean the 70s since the renderings & images seem to have stopped then. Where are the 2014 Mary’s?
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.