“Guardian Angel”
St. Colmcille’s Church
Holywood, Northern Ireland

Helen McLean, McLean Fine Arts
Wexford, Ireland

This mosaic “Guardian Angel” is an addition to a church baptistry wall completed by the same artist 25 years earlier. Isolated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the artist chose to create a visage of her “lockdown” guardian angel. Her angel painting was transformed into a mosaic and installed in the baptistry to guide visitors. The angel stands tall, its feet grounded on the glowing earth–symbolized by deep reds and oranges–threatened by all that is happening in the world. Among the deep reds and purples, light and hope are suggested by elements that reflect the light. A line of gold tiles halfway up the mosaic marks the division of earth and the heavens. The sky and heavens glow and sparkle with golds and silver. The guardian angel evokes beauty, light, and hope.

Jury Comments
This piece is an addition to a work that the same artist completed a quarter-century earlier and shows her vision’s maturation. In the grip of the pandemic, the angel guards over the heavens and the earth.