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'Madonna and Child' is the iconic title of the next themed exhibition which runs from Tuesday 11 March.

NG Art Gallery has loosely borrowed its theme from their new ecclesiastical residence 'Mission'. 'Mission' is aptly named for the Sydney City Missionaries who first occupied the 19th Century building. A spectacular Gothic Revival-style church, the space has been remodelled to perfectly accommodate a feast of sensory pleasure, NG Art Gallery and Mission Restaurant. Religious art has its origins in the early Byzantine church where it was seen as a necessary device that allowed one to commune with God.

Artistic tradition holds that the image of the Madonna and Child presented the miracle of God made flesh with the Virgin as the living throne of God presenting her Son to the faithful. The image of the Child resting within His mother's embrace also alludes to the adult Christ's death, with the Madonna linking humanity and divinity. Contemporary artists are confronted with a world where the lines between the sacred and profane are sometimes blurred. It is the artist's imperative to reveal the mystery of maternal love, with its wholly unique themes of self-sacrifice and transformation. While strongly grounded in the 21st century, the artists exhibiting in Madonna and Child reveal an abiding connection to the realm of the divine.

A number of the artists in Madonna and Child have previously been selected for the Blake Prize for Religious Art. Artists include: Priscilla Bracks, Patricia Casey, Rachel Fairfax, Alan Healy, Caroline Larcombe, Barbara Licha, Steve Lopez, Peter O'Doherty, Nana Ohnesorge, Yaeli Ohana, Mariola Smarzak.

NG Art Gallery and Mission Restaurant is hosting the first of their 'Great Art Debates' with a Feast for the Senses Dinner on Tuesday 18 March. Click here for more information.

The topic for this debate is: Art is a Blasphemy! A Pious Explanation

Join two heretical souls in search of a salvation through seeing. Rod Pattenden, Chair of the Blake Prize for Religious Art and Fr. Peter Maher, Chaplain at UTS - converse, debate and delight in the heretical, seductive, dangerous delights of contemporary art in search of salvation - a conversation beyond belief.

Simply click here to download an invitation to the opening night of the 'Mother and Child' exhibition to be held on Tuesday 11 March 2008.

'Madonna and Child' concludes on Saturday 5 April 2008. For further information, please email ng@ngart.com.au
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