Stabat Mater is the sound version of the visual trope of the Pietà. These are collisions from the canon of Western Art: the stone torso is a draped Hellenistic muse from the pediment of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi (330BCE), the head is the lion from Giovanni Dalmata’s Venetian plaque of Madonna and Child (late 14th century), the hands from the same sculpture. The slumped sheep form is the minotaur (being dominated and killed by Theseus), from the Athenian Treasury metopes (around 500 BCE). The scarred coat of the sheep is taken from my research photographs of real animal ewes, just sheared. In the third work, the hands and feet are from an tiny ivory figure of Christ (Bargello, 1350) and on the right, Christ's bent and twisted arm from Michelangelo's second pietà, 1550.
The minotaur was strangely misshapen and misunderstood, decidedly animal and killed for that reason. The draped torso figure form part of the sculptures is celebrating the founding of the Athenian democracy, a system that allowed only a very few to be free and to vote. The Venetian Madonna is two dimensional, mute and beautiful, self-contained and certainly not vocal (Mary speaks four times only in the bible), the ideal woman and mother for millennia. At a time when the domination over every species on Earth has brought us to the edge of extinction, the scream that cannot be heard is a rage, the voice of a feminist Stabat Mater, of all those that have been excluded from the definition of Man, the able-bodied, European Enlightment male: women, animals, the strange, the sexually and racialised other.