Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Mary MacKillop: A Tribute

“Mary MacKillop: A Tribute” edited by Andrew Wilson.

This book lovingly represents Mary MacKillop in various paintings that show as much about Australia as they do Mary MacKillop. Selected by judges from almost 200 entries into the Mary MacKillop Art Award this book was compiled in the year of Mary’s beatification and has a representation of Mary to suit any person in any time.

Aboriginal, Medieval, Chinese, post-modern, photography, Byzantine; the different artistic forms that depict Mary speak volumes of her connection with Australia and her people.

Included in the book is a timeline of Mary’s life and introductions from the then Congregational leader of the Josephites, Sr Mary Cresp RSJ; the then Prime Minister, Hon. Paul Keating, Ita Buttrose and others which highlight in written form what the paintings do visually; they speak of Mary’s impact on all who encounter her.

Each artwork is accompanied by a blurb from the artist explaining his or her motivation for their representation of Mary; these statements show how Mary has inspired the artists in unique ways, some speak of the challenges she endured while others her distinctly Australian spirit and others too her loving heart.

When I slowly looked through each of the pieces I found in them all a way to connect with Mary; be her Mother Mary, sister Mary or Saint Mary, each depiction shows her to be a woman daring to change the world. The beauty of this book is that it shows vividly how so many lives have been, and continue to be, touched by Mary.

This isn’t your usual coffee table book because once you have it you’ll never want to let it our of your sight; I highly recommend this book as the prefect way to always see Mary.

Check out Mary’s Books for information on where you can buy or borrow this and other Mary MacKillop books.

Image: "Mary MacKillop of Australia" by Jiawei Shen*