Mary and the Christ Child
These are the most prayerful paintings I have created.
I had not come across the Black Madonna until 2019. Much of the information I have about them has been from lectures by Stephanie Georgieff, who has researched them, their origins, and where they can be found today.
The Black Madonnas started appearing in Europe between 4AD-6AD.They had been placed and found on pilgrim routes – in mountains, in trees, under the Earth, and near natural springs. There is much mystery surrounding them.The Templars put the Black Madonnas in their Cathedrals, Chapels and Shrines, along the El Camino de Santiago de Compostela.
The Black Madonna and Child are exemplars of Love and Strength – encouraging us to respect the Divine and Love that is within us all.
There was much self-doubt before painting these, and the inner critic kept asking, Who was I to be painting Mary, when I have no Catholic background?And Who was I to be painting a Black Madonna and Child, when I am a wee white Scottish woman?I could only answer, “I don’t know, I only know I have to paint them.” and the inner critic would become quiet and I would continue to paint.
These were painted in response to the forest fires in the Amazon in 2019. I felt the need to offer some form of Love and healing to support the World.
Since then, there seems to have been even more need of healing, Love and support, as we have witnessed the dreadful tragedy of George Floyd’s death, the dreadful growing fear and deaths throughout the global pandemic, and even more recently, very extreme heat resulting in more wild fires and devastation.
Every day I look at these paintings and am strengthened, nourished and encouraged to go out into the world and meet my day with positivity. I hadn’t expected them to have that effect on me.
One of my main worries was how people of colour would find my paintings. However, one man from Nigeria, was so moved, that he said, he could be the one being held by the Christ Child. He decided to buy a print and take it home. That, for me, is confirmation on many different levels. His name is Gabriel!