For my next trick, my lovely assistant
– give us a twirl (applause) – will
hold her book and stare into space.
I will levitate on a cloud of dry ice
– look, no wires (more applause) –
and in a moment you will see a dove
appear in a beam of light. No, there
are no secret pockets in my robes,
no mirrors or invisible strings. And,
as if by magic, she’s pregnant too,
Mary, stand up and take a bow.
(Loud applause and final curtain.)
This poem is taken from A Confusion of Marys a new book by Rupert Loydell and Sarah Cave in which they explore, write back to and re-imagine the story of the Angel Gabriel appearing to Mary, in terms of sequential writing, re-versioning, accumulation, variation and ekphrasis. Many paintings, photographs, videos and sculptures depicting the annunciation were used as research and inspiration, including works by Fra Angelico, Andy Warhol, Francis Picabia, Paul Delvaux and René Magritte. The work is part of an ongoing exploration of this material and associated themes such as colour, contemporary art, spiritual / alien intervention and intrusion into the human realm, symbolism and the nature of belief and submission. Previous publications centred on these topics include Rupert Loydell’s Dear Mary (Shearsman, 2017) and the collaborative works Joyful Mysteries #1-5 and Impossible Songs (Analogue Flashback, 2017).
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