Madonna and Child

For generations on my mother’s side my grandmother and her mother and so on made a yearly pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Oropa outside Biella in northern Italy. My grandmother and mother would take us there as children. It is a spectacularly beautiful place and we recently brought my daughter Praise there.

Making this drawing brings me into complete resolution with my Italian Catholic heritage. Patriarchy being a fundamental perspective of the church and my culture never really resonated with me. I was born a feminist so much of my life has been about reconciling with what I am made from and who I am ultimately. I realize that my work is at its core an expression of the divine feminine.

The Black Madonna is a very mysterious and powerful symbol. She represents the female counterpart to Jesus, the Magdalene in some interpretations.

A modern perspective of the Madonna in general is that Mary was in fact purified, became enlightened herself in the carrying of Jesus, an enlightened being, as opposed to the church’s interpretation of an “immaculate conception”.

My Madonna is shattering the archetypes of the past. Her child possibly even a girl. The baby is in a sling as you’d see most mothers these days making their way around the city.

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