A painting from the Philippinnes, Nuestra Senora del Carmen, continues our series of modern images of Mary for Our Lady’s month, May (for the first image see here)
Many of the images, and statues of Mary seen in the different homes of people around the world reflect the piety and popular art forms of the culture in which they are found. This encouraging phenomenon celebrates the inclusive nature of faith which can speak to all peoples where they are, and can be articulated and celebrated in popular art.
The subtleties and symbolism of the popular art forms of Mary in one culture may not easily be appreciated by peoples of other cultures, but it is clear that Our Lady inspires much art and popular devotion all around the world. Mary, the mother, is often represented in the form of an indigenous mother, nourishing and nurturing her Son.
In this painting the Filipino artist Mario Parial (b.1945) presents Our Lady with the colour and extravagance found in the devotion of many of the peoples in the Philippines. Surrounded by bright flowers and luxuriant vegetation the crowned Mary is represented as a woman of the people who draws creation and people together. She is the Mother to be honoured and loved, who shows her son to us. Mama Mary is the simple way Christians in the Philippines refer to Mary. She is the mother of all, and as Mama Mary she loves and prays for us in God’s presence.