In Loving Memory I Found The Black Virgin Artist Statement
Shadows and Crows appeared in my paintings for a body of work ‘LOVING MEMORY’ in 2007, the work embraces death, dying and grief.
At times my shadows represent my ancestors, the shadow making the absent become present.
As with my loved ones and my grief the shadow travels with me, moving with me, it captures me, it resembles me and belongs to me.
It is the sense of presence and connection that the image of crow also holds. Not apart of me yet more of a welcomed visitor the crow says hello, the ancestors talk, connecting, reassuring me I am not alone.
The heavy collage helps to build rich spaces and also like my memories the collage comes from different times, with the fabric found in op-shops all having had a previous life in strangers homes and hands. The intense collage serves to provide depth to the flatly painted images.
As I embrace dead I hold on stronger to the living, child in arms, as too does The Black Virgin.
The Black Virgin or The Black Madonna as she is also known is the recent image embracing my creative world. The global image symbolizes the unconscious, healing and motherly love, The Black Madonna is a protector and guardian of the outcast.
The universal connection of this Icon for me as an Aboriginal woman and mother is very powerful, real and always encouraging. The Black Virgin connects me to my mother, grandmothers, Mother Earth and daughter.
Coloured Woman all around the world find identification and strength in the beauty and darkness of her skin.
‘A Black Blacker than Black’
Life and Dead are inseparable both mother and crow dance in the blackness as the starting point of alchemical work.
She does not only shine of scared light but she stands tall in the darkness knowing suffering and endurance.
The last of the image in which I could leave or unmentioned is the beloved gollywog, in the care of the child. The gollywog has its only shadows and dark history yet in the arms of a child always loved and honoured.
Let there be play
Karla Dickens for Museum of Brisbane Exhibition