Not the Virgin

Art portfolio- my work
"Not the Virgin" Embroidery on rubber/inner tube, found doillie, painted vintage frame

“Not the Virgin” Embroidery on rubber/inner tube, found doillie, painted vintage frame

In 2005 I received a blow-up doll from my brother in law.  I cut it up and used it in some work- see here

Since then those work has been destroyed and somehow with all our moving from town to town the doll got lost.

I kept a photo of her-

blow doll


and this photo served as inspiration for “Not the Virgin”.

“if i were a rich (wo)man….”

Studio news/blog

The song “If I were a rich man” is playing through my head while I drool over the new body of work by Walter Oltmann.

If I were a rich (wo)manI would buy a plane ticket and go to the opening of his show (Penumbra) tonight at the Goodman Gallery.

And I would buy lots and lots of his work.

But alas, I am not a man and not rich yet… I wont be able to attend the opening nevermind buy his work, but oh boy do I love to look at it!

Walter Oltmann "Mother and child 3" aluminium wire 2012

Walter Oltmann “Mother and child 3” aluminium wire 2012

I adore the themes his work address:

Oltmann also more specifically returns to the theme of “mother and child”. His pairing of an adult skull with that of a child’s counters the expected sentiment and underscores the tragic loss of the tender bond between mother and child. What is usually presented as a nurturing and serene scene becomes a disturbing testament to catastrophe. (from the Goodman Gallery website)

Walter Oltmann "child" 2013 Aluminium wire.

Walter Oltmann “child” 2013 Aluminium wire.

And I also find his medium fascinating!

Walter Oltmann "Infant" 2013 Aluminium wire

Walter Oltmann “Infant” 2013 Aluminium wire

Using mostly a thin (1mm diameter) aluminium wire, these net-like works are made by layering and stitching together sections of weave to create a form of three-dimensional tonal drawing. The resulting wall hangings declare their presence through scale and surface texture but often look delicate and at times even insubstantial. “I have made connections to domestic textile practices in previous artworks and continue to explore such forms of making in these works in evoking fragility and the passage of time,” explains Oltmann.

He also has works on paper on show:

Walter Oltmann "Womb"  2013 Ink on Paper

Walter Oltmann “Womb” 2013 Ink on Paper


Walter Oltmann "Coverlet" White crayon on black paper

Walter Oltmann “Coverlet” White crayon on black paper

If you want to read more about Walter Oltmann and his exhibition, go here!



Studio news/blog

home-made frog birthday cake

Yesterday was the celebration of your second year on this lovely planet.

What I have learned because of you:


To communicate without words.

What you have taught me:

How to play with frogs,

How to take time to explore the garden and get excited about insects,

To walk slower

To sleep less

To wake up with a smile

Thank you my beautiful boy.

So I thought to share some of my favorite mother and child images as celebration:

Tori Amos in the inside of the cd cover of boys for pele

dolls- mother and child

popular mother ans child: magazine cut out received from a friend




Madonna and child through the ages

Art portfolio- my work

“Mother is the name of God on the lips of all children”

The above line was said in the movie ‘The Crow’ I think it was in the second one and not completely sure that I quoted it correctly, but it made a huge impact on me, even before I had children.  I used to think how amazing it must feel to be seen like that, but now I think how impossibly difficult it can be.

I was raised in a very patriarchal version of Christianity, and although my religious views have gone through a lot of different metamorphic stages, I am very much intrigued by the catholic matriarchal version.  Apparently there are a number of apocryphal texts, (the infancy Gospels) which elaborates on His early years, but why is it left out in the canonical gospels? Is the following maybe the reason?

There is nothing particularly Christian about the stories attributed to Jesus; rather, the stories elaborate on the missing years of Jesus with reference to Hellenistic legend and pious imagination.

I wonder what happened in and after the stable.

Was the birth difficult as promised to be after the fall?  Was there complications? Was Joseph present? Did the baby miraculously slide out of the uterus like the way he made is appearance inside it?

Did the baby Jesus have problems teething?  Did he suffer from diaper rash?

Did the Mother Mary suffer from prenatal depression?

I suspect that I am not the only one asking these questions.

In all the depictions I have seen of the Madonna and child she always looks so serene.  Not a worry in the world.  I presume it is because the church commissioned those works and wanted it so, or maybe it is the same reason why family photographs are almost always portrayed as happy go lucky even though they might have had a quarrel just before the shutter went off.

After the birth, did Joseph and Mary finally manage to find a home to raise their child?  Did he ever fall and hurt his knees?  Did he have friends?

“XI. 1 Now when he was six years old, his mother sendeth him to draw water and bear it into the house, and gave him a pitcher: but in the press he struck it against another and the pitcher was broken. 2 But Jesus spread out the garment which was upon him and filled it with water and brought it to his mother. And when his mother saw what was done she kissed him; and she kept within herself the mysteries which she saw him do.” -(

What was it like to be a mother in those days?

If I knew more about it, would it change my perception of the Madonna and Child, or even motherhood?

Maybe it’s just another fairytale, but then again in fairytales the mother doesn’t really make an appearance.

I have read somewhere that

“Madonna’s are a common idiom in Renaissance painting.  There was hardly an artist who did not attempt this great theme.  We can understand why.  The wonderful thing about the Madonna and Child theme is that it appeals both to the specifics of Christianity (where the humanity of Christ is a central mystery) and to the human values on which all religion is based, through out the world.  Every painter had a mother.  Every psyche has been affected by this fact.”

The painters of that time were mostly men, and I wonder if women where allowed to paint, would that  have changed the ‘image’ of the Madonna and child we so often see?