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ink, water and acrylics on paper, applied with nibs and brushes
24×32cm / 9.4×12.5 inches
Dated August 2011

This image is meant to recognize the developping role of the father in today’s family structure.
Fathers are spending more time with their children than they have in the past. They are no longer the ‘invisible parent’. They more and more have an equal role as carers in the family. They are not only involved in playtime and eductation, but also in cleaning, washing, cooking, feeding…
Nevertheless, fathers often don’t have the needed flexibility at work in order to be involved in their child’s care and support their partner, as they would have wished. Maintaining their busy job, developing their career and spending quality time with the family has become the greatest challenge for today’s fathers. Employers should address fathers’ needs more seriously.

What does all that have to do with the Holy Family? I was thinking about religious images and what came to me in mind was always “Mary and Child” paintings. There are plenty images of Mary, Christ and Joseph, but I could not recall a single one of them. I don’t know if that is because of the quantity of “Mary and Child” paintings we see in museums, anyway I thought I’d show some empathy towards this invisible Joseph and paint some “Mary, Joseph and child” icons.

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  • donnamalone
    donnamaloneover 3 years ago

    Joseph always seems ambivalent in his role to me…always off to the side… sort of resentful and sulky…like he’s been duped when Jesus is little…then it feels like he gets it together with teaching Jesus about the art of wood.
    Really like your drawing and sentiment

  • I really like your comment…

    – Ina Mar

  • Anthea  Slade
    Anthea Sladeover 3 years ago

    A wonderful sensitive drawing Ina. I love your perspective on the fathers role.

  • catherine walker
    catherine walkerover 3 years ago

    beautiful..well done!

  • kenroome
    kenroomeabout 3 years ago

    These are wonderful works depiciting an emerging desire of wholeness within the traditional family unit. Mary, Joseph and Jesus are an interesting dynamic. While Mary is intrusted with the deepening idea of conception, Joseph is left to hear the instructions on how to carry the family through though times. His presence is kind of a safe cover for what has happened. It’s to him that the instruction is given to hide Mary and the child, and him it is told how to get back. After that he kind of fades away. I love your comments about how fathers are taking a more up front role in caring for the family…but, just as generic society does not value the true cost of women’s roles, neither does it allow the father to show tenderness, gentleness, and empathy for any struggles his children go through. He’s just supposed to be the lawgiver, financial supporter and such. That is changing though and, I believe, we have the struggle for women’s rights to thank for that. As women are lifted up and valued more honestly, so too men are seen in deeper light than ever before. Equality is a beautiful thing. Even though the story goes that only a few faithful were at the cruxifiction, you have to wonder, did Joseph weep? Sorry, Ive gone on a bit.

  • Ken, many many thanks for your deep thoughts and for your interpretation concerning my holy family series. I suppose you have thought more about it than I have, because these paintings resulted from a rather intuitive process – of course the bible references and religious imagery are somewhere in my head, as well as my wishes for new society structures… So I enjoyed the details about “joseph’s presence as a kind of a safe cover for what has happened…” who then “fades away”. It suits my Joseph a lot. Thank you for visiting my images and for taking so much time to comment, I really appreciate it.

    – Ina Mar

  • BasantSoni
    BasantSoniover 2 years ago

    Glorious stylish work …fav

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