Burqa-clad Mary sparks prize controversy

Controversy has broken out over an entry in the Blake Religious Art Prize depicting Our Lady dressed in a burqa.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that another entry blends the face of Osama bin Laden with that of Jesus.

The head of Australia's Islamic Council believes a statue of the Virgin Mary shrouded in a burqa is not offensive, because it shows a key female figure of Islam in the modest fashion required of all Muslim women.

But Prime Minister John Howard yesterday described the bin Laden work as "gratuitously offensive".

Cardinal George Pell said the works demonstrate that some contemporary art is "tedious and trivial".

The Blake Prize was awarded this week to indigenous artist Shirley Purdie for her painting Stations of the Cross.

That's Osama art controversy (Sydney Morning Herald, 30/8/07)
Artist defends 'Osama bin Christ' against Howard (News.com.au, 30/8/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Blake Prize Exhibition (NAS Gallery)

Blake Prize goes to Indigenous Stations of Cross (CathNews, 30/8/07)
Outback image lights up Blake Prize (CathNews, 1/9/06)
Blake prize opens at ACU Strathfield (CathNews 18/5/05)
Blake art prize winner 'evokes humanity in all' (CathNews 22/11/04)
Poetical ribs take religious art prize (CathNews 13/11/03)

31 Aug 2007