Mother Anne Dyer is doing another of her splendid art courses again. Mind you, they are at the busiest times of the year for clergy (Lent and Advent) but I’m determined to take time out to enjoy some visual stimuli.
This week we were looking at the journey to Bethlehem, midwives, heavenly hosts, ox and ass, and adoration of shepherds.
The one that stuck in my mind was by Janet McKenzie who is an American artist. I have cards of many of her paintings but can’t remember where I got them. She has done some amazing paintings of the holy family as Native Americans or black people.
This one is called Mary and the Midwives. Mary is not often shown in labour in art – because of that whole immaculate, virgin thing – but here she is holding her belly and the baby. She seems to me to be in her own world, focusing on the pain, on the moment. And the Holy Spirit hovers above her, keeping guard. The midwives sit silently, praying? They are giving her space until they are needed. They look so beautiful, wise and serene. Love it. How about you?