john davies
notes from a small curate

    April 2004

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    Matilda Harrison: Madonna of the City
    from Observer Magazine, July 26th 1987

    Madonna of the City. That's my title, not the artist's. Hers accompanied an Observer magazine article on Mariology way back in 1987; I cut it out, framed it and it's been the first picture I've hung everywhere I've lived in since (that's, erm, eight moves in eighteen years). I can't explain precisely why I like it so much, but there's plenty to go on - the central figure beaming serenity amidst the choking traffic chaos, oozing innocence in the dirty city's embrace, praying at the heart of commerce, looking heavenwards in the shadow of Babel-like skyscrapers. She's a clear-eyed deviant of devotion in the bustling high street.

    I can't find this image online, and I'm assuming that the artist is the same Matilda Harrison whose website I've discovered [here]. I think so, because there are similar pictures there - featuring serene figures fronting busy scenes with the bustle of life teeming tiny in the background.

    Other pics of the month - click here to see index