Copyright © Sara Sally LaGrand
The Modern St. Ursula - Ursula, also know as the "little bear" is considered on of the many patron saints of school girls. Her legend, probably not historical, is that she was a princess who, at the request of her father King Dionotus of Dumnonia in south-west Britain, set sail to join her future husband, the pagan governor Conan Meriadoc of Armorica, along with 11,000 virginal handmaidens. After a miraculous storm brought them over the sea in a single day to a Gaulish port, Ursula declared that before her marriage she would undertake a pan-European pilgrimage. She headed for Rome with her followers and persuaded the Pope, Cyriacus (unknown in the pontifical records, though from late 384 there was a Pope Siricius), and Sulpicius, bishop of Ravenna, to join them. After setting out for Cologne, which was being besieged by Huns, all the virgins were beheaded in a massacre. The Huns' leader fatally shot Ursula with a bow and arrow in about 383 (the date varies) Given that Ursula probably did not exist, her history or lack thereof, stands as a symbol of all the mythology that surrounds the Roman Catholic church. Our Ursula accepts that her fate awaits with her handmaid standing beside her and using an arrow to foreshadow her upcoming fate. She looks plaintively at the viewer, inviting you (school girls) to follow her or not. Her open palm and expression filled face invites you to walk into a history that does not exist.
Ursula and all her sisters from "v.xx - The Veneration of the Feminine Spirit" will be on display at the Kansas City Artist's Coalition from March 2-30, 2018