For this exhibition, Susan McKeever was inspired by the ‘Child of Prague’ statuettes, the small religious figurines found in so many Irish homes, depicting a Jesus-as-a-child dressed in medieval winter robes, and all the superstitions that surround him.
This cherubic tot with a ruff, lace cuffs, and a big golden hat stands on a plinth, his left hand holds a cross and orb, his right hand raised in a gesture of benediction or as Susan like to imagine, the global hippy peace sign. Here in Ireland all sorts of silly superstitions surround him: he is luckier if his head has broken off and been glued back on, but it must be an accidental break, and not done deliberately. Put him in the garden before a wedding for good weather on the big day – or on the steps of the church, or under a bush, or buried up to his neck in the flowerbed!
The very first Child of Prague statue was a 16th century wax covered wood carving which originated in Spain which is now on display in a catholic church in Prague, where it is said to have performed miracles.
Dimensions: 27 x 20cm; collage on canvas.