Jyoti Sahi - Dalit Madonna
Jyoti Sahi (b.1944 )
Oil on canvas, laid down on board
147.5 x 118.5 cm
Methodist Modern Art Collection
Image Copyright © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. The Methodist Church Registered Charity no. 1132208
Luke 2:7–10 Matthew2: 16 John 13:2b – 9, 12- 14 Matthew2: 1–2, 11
This image echoes the Indian folk symbol of the grinding stone, found in every traditional home. This has two parts. The larger “Mother Stone” is fixed and stable, whilst the smaller “Baby Stone” moves to grind food stuffs on the Mother Stone. Relating Mary and Jesus to this symbol links the bond between them to the preparation of daily bread on the grinding stone so we can think of it when saying “Give us this day our daily bread”. “Dalit” means broken (sometimes used by those in South Asia traditionally regarded as low caste or ‘untouchable’). Breaking items on the grinding stone is necessary to create wholesome food for the family. The suffering in the relationship of Jesus and Mary is necessary to create life and hope.
Commentary based on A Guide to the Methodist Art Collection.