My interest in Mary Magdalene as my present mosaic series’ protagonist developed partly because of her varied representations over the centuries in art and in literature. I am familiar with numerous paintings and sculptures in churches and museums representing the Magdalene and watched several movies depicting her in multiple roles associated with Christianity. Yet my research for this series took longer than predicted as I never expected to find so much diverse and complex material. Mary Magdalene is known as an ex-prostitute, a mystic, a celibate cave dweller, a helpmeet to Jesus, a courtesan, a repentant sinner, a weeping anointer, the matriarch of divinity’s secret dynasty and lately, a feminist icon.
In the seven large panels this mosaic series (in progress) consists of, Mary Magdalene is the enlightened woman who understood Jesus’ teachings better than any of the twelve disciples, she, whom Jesus loved better than anyone, and the one referred to by Gnostics as Jesus’ companion or consort. My version, a composite of Mary of Bethany and Mary the Magdalene also symbolizes the feminine divine in Christianity. For the fabrication of five of this series of mosaics I am collaborating with my assistant Adeline Benhammouda of Montreal.