Mother God

Original painting by Derbyshire based Scottish artist John McDonald


Mother God is an original painting by the Butterfly Cry Artist, Scottish artist John McDonald, commissioned for Déda Derby Inspired Reflections exhibition.

This painting is dramatic, powerful and touching, depicting what appears to be a grieving mother holding a bundle in her arms. Her gaze is directed upwards towards a depiction of the crucifixion. It is a gaze recognised by anyone who has needed to ask God or the Universe: ‘Why?’.

The subject for the portrait is a Derbyshire based female artist whose own work focusses on neo-natal death, and who in fact lost her beautiful baby son after just a few weeks of life.

A bundled blanket or scarf represents the child’s absence, and in a beautiful and loving gesture, John has painted a tiny portrait of the baby in his mother’s necklace, and the letters of his name can be found in the pendant chain.

The depiction of the crucifixion is one of 13 painted by John. He ascribes his passion for art to his experience of Salvador Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross, which he saw as a small boy in Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow.

There is evidence here of John’s growing exploration of gender equality, both in the title Mother God, and in the power and strength shown in this woman.

The painting is uplifting rather than despairing and seems to suggest that the strength of this ‘mother’ is great enough to hold her incalculable loss.

The Original painting is available for sale.
Size 150 x 100 cm / 5 ft x 3 ft
Acrylic on Canvas

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COPYRIGHT © by John McDonald. All rights reserved by the artist. Any and all publishing and reproduction rights are retained solely by the artist. This image is not to be re-distributed, copied, imitated or misappropriated without written consent of the artist.