Thursday, 5 April 2012

Her eyes were making silent demands [as her hair came undone in my hands]

"Her Eyes Were Making Silent Demands... [As Her Hair Came Undone In My Hands]"
Acrylic on Panel 

Here's my piece for the Engedi Easter Story Exhibition, I was lucky to come into the exhibition quiet early on so I was able to choose the passage which would form the basis of the work, and I immediately knew not only which passage I wanted, but I also had an idea of what I'd be painting, I even had the title ready [borrowed from an Ash song]. 
I'd been looking for an excuse to do this painting for a while, and the exhibition opportunity filled perfectly! 
It's no secret I had some struggles with the piece, juggling deadlines, work, life and a fast drying palette :( but   after having some distance from the piece and seeing it hanging in the exhibition space I must say I'm much happier with it than I thought I'd be, although I'm still tempted to darken out the mid section....

The Passage:

John 12: 1-11

Anointing His Feet
 1-3Six days before Passover, Jesus entered Bethany where Lazarus, so recently raised from the dead, was living. Lazarus and his sisters invited Jesus to dinner at their home. Martha served. Lazarus was one of those sitting at the table with them. Mary came in with a jar of very expensive aromatic oils, anointed and massaged Jesus' feet, and then wiped them with her hair. The fragrance of the oils filled the house. 4-6Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, even then getting ready to betray him, said, "Why wasn't this oil sold and the money given to the poor? It would have easily brought three hundred silver pieces." He said this not because he cared two cents about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of their common funds, but also embezzled them.
 7-8Jesus said, "Let her alone. She's anticipating and honoring the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you. You don't always have me."
 9-11Word got out among the Jews that he was back in town. The people came to take a look, not only at Jesus but also at Lazarus, who had been raised from the dead. So the high priests plotted to kill Lazarus because so many of the Jews were going over and believing in Jesus on account of him.

* I feel I should add that I took up the Catholic belief that it was Mary Magdalene that the passage refers too and not Mary of Bethany as most scholars now believe, for no reason other than it suited my purpose and gave me a little more scope when it came to my reasoning. 

Artist Statement:

“Her eyes were making silent demands, as her hair came undone in my hands”

Hair is what drew me towards the passage.
Traditionally Mary Magdalene is portrayed with long flowing hair, uncovered and left to cascade over her shoulders to represent her loose morals and sinful past.
It was with this hair she dried Jesus’ feet.

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