Cardinal Knowledge

Cardinal Knowledge – 2013, collage, 40cm x 70cm/16in x 28in, © 2020 Dixon Adair


This collage can only be seen as an attack on clerical abuse.

Black and white images are punctuated with red-hued ones.  At the top, the spider-shaped, web-like structure of a cathedral apse is overlaid onto the Papal tiara.  Starting near the center of the collage, an implement of torture wraps around a fragile violin frame containing the lower body of a child. 

Repeated child abuse is targeted metaphorically by the hands counting the sheets of paper in a ream that covers the sex of the child. 

At the bottom, between hands pulling up stockings, is a bowl of dismembered doll parts next to a discarded clerical collar.

To the lower right, a Cardinal blends into a fur-wrapped Marlene Dietrich.  His mitre mocks the imprisoned life of nuns, who feature throughout the composition.

Disturbing images abound, but, as the migrating ducks at the top of the composition remind us, seasons come and go while tension builds in the slow-moving, purple-colored teeth of judicial gears.

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