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Book Book

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Brenda Joysmith (b. 1952 – )
Madonna, 1984
Print, open edition
18cm x 23cm
Loaned by Venerable Karen Lund, Archdeacon of Manchester
‘The psychiatrist Dr Jean Shinoda Bolen writes “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”

My early years’ Illustrated Children’s Bible did not ever suggest to me that the Mary as God Bearer could connect to me in such a personal way, as racially she looked more like my friends; and we now know how vital it is to offer an alternative narrative in words and pictures on the story of God other than the white western perspective.

In this picture, the contrast of the white shroud juxtaposed against the skin colour of Mary and Jesus forces the observer to recognise and accept and see their blackness. This piece of art connects me to an experience of black visibility held in the visibility of God.’
(Venerable Karen Lund, Archdeacon of Manchester)
Biographical Details
Memphis native Brenda Joysmith is recognised nationally and internationally for her skill as a pastellist and is best known for her positive depiction of the Black community. Inspired by her surrounding family, neighbours and community, she sensitively portrays the familiar, individuals, family and public scenes. Joysmith deftly used pastel to convey the subtleties of personality, nuances of gesture, and the style and natural rhythms of a nurturing Black experience.

Brenda returned to her native Memphis after living for 25 years in California. She says “The last 25 years in California have expanded my view of the diversity of Black people. Our experience varies by region, generation, religion or socio-economic status. However, most of our cultural roots take us back to the South. I want to remind us of the strengths and positive substance of that experience, connecting with the universal and the timeless.”
(UAPB News, March 1st 2020 and Brenda Joysmith Bio)