Padonna

2015

About the painting

I heard the news of yet another male star able to devastate children’s lives, tragically, repeatedly. I thought, not all men are like that.  This image of a father and child came to mind one morning, and it seemed an easy thing to do; a child on a father’s lap. But it was a struggle to paint.  It wasn’t until all four hands were showing that the relationship felt safe and I could see a larger picture. 

I saw parent and child—mother and child—Madonna.  I realised this was Padonna.  Then the background became classic renaissance Madonna blue.  And that blue had hints of delft pottery and indigo dyes—the patterns and colours of empire imposed into African states, moving people as commodity. I recalled seeing delft pottery in Ghana and seeing Ghanaian basket weaving in North Carolina. I saw the triangle trade and had to paint it.  Empire continues even now, and the fabric frame presented itself in the colour of copper; a colour of commodity routinely removed from the African continent.

This Padonna pair is exuberantly black – a deliberate pointer to the culture of white Jesus imposed on so many.

Available for Exhibition:

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