What my teddy bear taught me about idolatry
When you think about religious art, the first thing that comes to mind for many is little baby Jesus with a golden halo. Not so, when it comes to the Blake Prize which explores the religious and spiritual in art. One year a textured abstract took the $25,000 prize. Another year, a Buddhist entry scooped the prize.
I’ve always wanted to enter the Blake but couldn’t muster a strong entry. This year, my teddy, who I’ve owned for over 40 years came to my rescue.
Idolatry, Ray Monde, 2013, Blake Prize 2013
As a child, my teddy bear, Pandy, was my conduit to God. I would pray through him. Later as the foundations of my faith shifted, I realised that Pandy had become a talisman in his own right and I would travel with him stuffed into my bags to ward off evil.
Despite his flea-bitten ragged look, I can’t part with him and those googly eyes stare at me accusingly in the dark of night.
Here’s the run-down of the making of Idolatry.
First, I painted over an existing canvas with a yellow green
I drew the key shapes of different elements of the bear’s body and then overlay these with torn magazines, gluing them in place with binder medium
To make sure I can cut out distinct shapes, on the back of each page I have traced my drawings to make shape-cutting accurate
All the pieces of the collage, now ready for assembly on the canvas
Here’s the near final artwork with the collage elements of the panda combined. All I need to do to complete it was add the ‘light of truth’ in the top left-hand corner