JANET MATHIAS

Milagros
Across Latin America, you can find altars covered or statues covered with prayer offerings of various sorts, miniatures known in Spanish as milagros which literally means miracles. They can be made of wood and wax, but are most typically made of silver or other metals. They may also have a talismanic function and be worn as jewelry or on clothing.

Milagros are primarily offered to a saint in thanks for answering a prayer, or in hope that the prayer is answered, or protection be offered [in the areas related to the image/object.] These are body image milagros but I am also making them with symbols of animals and everyday life. Some animals refer to one’s personal spirit, character, or animistic alter-ego. You'll see these in many of my paintings, too.

Each unique "Tiffany Milagros" collage is made using cut paper and mixed media including aluminum foil, tin, ink, sand paper, and carbon paper transfer drawings. The milagro image is pasted not on an image of a saint, but on a piece of a Tiffany & Co. box -- a ground of timeless beauty and elegance.

I have been using milagros for many years, and they are held in sacred places in my studio. Some of the objects have notes attached to them, some adorn altars I have made, others are displayed as in a collection. The offerings, in prayer &/or in gratitude, hold deep meaning for me. These collages are a playful translation.