In Christian imagery everything has a symbolic meaning; the colours, gestures, people and flowers. But to me, this is not firstly an image of Mary and Jesus, but an international symbolic image of a mothers love, and that’s what I’ve named the piece. A mother’s love. You can tell how strong and hot that love is – and how it radiates out of her like fire?
I started this embroidery in 2010 and finished it by adding a frame and the final stiches in 2011. Here’s the whole thing:
The idea of creating an image of the Madonna and her baby came to me when I did my first interview for the Embroidery Guild’s mag two years ago.
I got to take part of some images of very old embroideries taken at the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Berlin. I was very inspired by them. They were gorgeous coptic embroideries from the museum collection, all showing different Madonna images. The worn feel and the excellence in handcraft that they radiated really inspired me. Especially a thread bare embroidery, where you could actually see red flames coming up form behind the Madonna. It’s not a common imagery and I haven’t seen it elsewhere, but that image was really beautiful to me and I wanted to create my own version of it.
I started this embroidery right away after the interview. I also inspired my embroidery group to create their own interpretation of the madonna. I took a piece of white cotton and experimented with watercolours and applique. I actually did a quick sketch but did not have much of a plan. If I remade this image today I would do it differently, but as it is now, I’m quite happy with it. This embroidery has been in two exhibitions already (last year).
I’ve decided to keep it, though I’ve put it away in my Christmas decoration box. I will enjoy it again in December, standing beside my big snow globe where a white angel is looking after the baby boy.
I would love to know what’s your thoughts on this?