Farm Street Church brings Mother Mary to the public
Farm Street Church has unveiled a monumental picture of the Virgin Mary on one of its exterior walls as a provocative public art work for Advent, encouraging passers-by to contemplate the reality of Christmas.
The beautiful painting depicts Mary as a very young mother with the natural beauty of youth just after the Annunciation.
Artist-in-Residence at Jesuit-run Farm Street, Andrew White, chose a local 14-year old girl to sit for the painting and dressed her in a plain rough, linen dress evoking first century Palestine which was designed by a remarkable young seamstress whose amazing gifts highlight Mary’s stark simplicity and her low social status.
Fr Dominic Robinson, Parish Priest at Farm Street, hopes Mother Mary will help Christmas shoppers reflect on the deeper meaning of the forthcoming Christmas celebrations:
“For me, the innocent reception of that shocking news is captured in Andrew’s depiction of Mary’s calmly joyful and expectant facial expression and the prophetic unconscious cradling of her hands.”
“While perhaps an unusual choice for a Christmas painting, I hope it evokes the mood at the heart of the season, the joyful generosity which bursts into the world as a beautiful light of peace amid the darkness of the city around us.
“I hope many will pass and reflect on Mother Mary – it is just a short walk from Oxford Street where many people will be doing their Christmas shopping over these next weeks, so I invite everyone to come and see the picture and maybe pop into the church to see the orignal.”