Provoked by the contrasting portrayals of Mary found in two Venetian Renaissance paintings – a beatified woman in Titian’s Assumption of the Virgin (1518) and a much more real, mother in mourning in Tintoretto’s The Crucifixion (1565) – Colm Tóibín presents one of the most foundational mother-son relationships in history in a profoundly humanizing narrative. Written as a one-woman play, TESTAMENT debuted at the 2011 Dublin Theatre Festival and later premiered on Broadway in 2013 in a production directed by Deborah Warner, with Fiona Shaw as Mary. The original text was expanded in 2012 into the novella The Testament of Mary.
Inspired by Tóibín’s portrait of Mary-as-mother, Rachel Whiteread has illustrated the text with photographs of personal objects she has collected over time. These ten unique images, including one of her mother’s own shoes, were produced by Whiteread in dialogue with Tóibín’s narrative and expressly for this project.
An artists’ book published in a signed limited edition of 75 copies
Published by Galleria Lorcan O’Neill, Rome
Designed by Peter Willberg, London
Binding and letterpress by Bookworks, London
Images printed by Pureprint, Uckfield
Set in Plan Grotesque and printed on Naturalis Absolute Matt
Presented in a clamshell case, 40 x 30 x 2 cm (15 ¾ x 11 ¾ x ¾ ins)
The case also contains a separate print by Rachel Whiteread:
Untitled, 2014, edition of 75 for Testament
Indigo print on 250gsm Naturalis Absolute Matt
27 x 36 cm (10 5/8 x 14 1/8 ins)