Black Madonna of Malta (oil, 1999)
When I have been on Malta and Gozo I have not only been spending time in the Neolithic temples of the Great Mother but I have also been taken to see Black Madonnas in churches and in crypts. The most emotional encounter for me was/is with the Black Madonna under the ground. She is to be found in a crypt or cave under the floor of a cloister church in Rabat on Malta. My friend, Chloe Misfud, who loves her also, took me there and the times I have been in that crypt we have both spent long times in a trance state in the presence of the Madonna who was carved in a brown streaked marble and is so beautiful. The legend goes that a hunter was out shooting with his friends but felt tired and went into a cave to rest. He fell asleep and had the vision of the Madonna with the child. When he woke up many years had gone by. Very similar to the Celtic legends of visits to the land of the Faerie when a day might have been a hundred years in human terms. The crypt under the church is that very Faerie cave preserved. Perhaps no surprise that we enter such an enchanted state when down there. She is also known to have cried tears that look like blood, a miracle. She is surrounded by African spirit masks. The original Black Madonna would have been Isis of Egypt with the Horus child.