Exhibition

Harminder Singh Judge: Madonna & Child

26 Nov 2008 – 25 Jan 2009

Ikon

Birmingham, United Kingdom

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The work of Birmingham-based artist Harminder Singh Judge combines and reworks the visual codes of world religions in an attempt to explore the enduring appeal of spirituality and its role in the formation of cultural identity. Acknowledging his own Sikh upbringing within a society historically dominated by Christianity, Singh Judge transforms religious imagery through use of a pop aesthetic and questions the perceived incompatibility of science and faith. The Madonna and Child is a ubiquitous emblem of Christianity anticipating the tragic Deposition in which we often see the son of God lying dead in his weeping mother's arms. By gilding a mass-produced reproduction of a large ape holding her child in her arms, Singh Judge has produced a work that lightly touches on the confict between dogmatic creationism and the theory of evolution. The gilding technique and the halo, produced here in neon, likewise cross ideological boundaries. In one smart artistic gesture, Singh Judge is referring to the use of the halo within many faiths and the prominent use of gilt on giant Buddhas in India and the Far East.

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