Valerie was inspired by everything she saw, from the countryside around her, newspaper articles, photos, family and vignettes of local events. She was very drawn to this image from a Catholic Sunday Bulletin, June 1975, with an article on world famine. She first explored this theme in textiles which was the medium she was using in the 1970’s. In this work the textile figures have hollow empty faces while the begging bowls are richly golden and well defined, their metal edges contrasting strongly with the indistinct edges of the children. Later, when she was painting on carved wood in the 1990’s, she revisited the image, adding a Christ figure to the centre. The golden halo perfectly mirrors the empty bowls, suggesting themes of Christ walking among those who most needed Him and the poor being blessed.


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