Renewals and new beginnings
The Bluebird is seen as the symbol of happiness, prosperity, good health, and the arrival of spring for many diverse cultures as indicated in Korean legend (a little bird told me), Native American Cochiti and Navajo spirit animals (rise to greet the Sun), Russian fairy tales (hope), and European mythology (the sky and eternal happiness).
The first recorded mention of a magical Bluebird dates to an oracle bone inscription from the Shang Dynasty (1766 – 1122 BC) in China where a bluebird was the messenger of the “Queen Mother of the West, a fearsome and immortal goddess” and 3000 years later, a “fairy queen”. *
Perhaps this Chinese origin story explains the oriental cast to the eyes of Lew Tilley’s Madonna, as she and the baby gaze at the bluebird on her hand. The title of the painting, “Madonna and Bluebird”, indicates a multi-cultural approach that includes the legendary Chinese “Bluebird of Happiness” and Christian mythology of the baby Jesus as associated with “new beginnings, hope and rebirth” to mankind.
How appropriate it is to use this as the first artwork featured in American Voice Media for 2018.—Eve Tilley, 2018