Catholic School Girl

I was raised in a Catholic family. I went to Catholic school and *barely* passed Catholic High School. I attended mass weekly. I wore a uniform. I had Theology class. I prayed the rosary. My classmates were hit with bibles (some how, by the grace of God I wasn't). My brother and sister in law were married in a beautiful Catholic wedding. It's just a part of me. 

I am currently not a practicing Catholic, but the virtues and beliefs stuck with me, I mean, how could they not? It was hammered into my head for 14 years. 

The last two years of my life have been spent living in Redding California, a small truck stop town with a massive multi million dollar Christian church on the outskirts. I didn't know about "Charismatic Christianity" until I moved there. It seemed really silly and fake to me, I'm use to silence and pews and dresses and slacks, not Yeezy sneakers and septum piercings. 

Once I left, I began thinking about how "cool" all of it was. The designs, the instagrams, the boots, the pastors, the life. None of that is cool to me (not that I define what is "cool", I think that bad taxidermy is cool, so don't take me too seriously). I started to think, what has kept my interest all these years, whats "cool" to me about church? The thing that stuck out immediately is the unexplainable, not miracles necessarily, but things that can't be explained that are an obvious sign of something supernatural, such as Stigmata. 

The dictionary defines Stigmata as "(in Christian tradition) marks corresponding to those left on Jesus’ body by the Crucifixion, said to have been impressed by divine favor on the bodies of St. Francis of Assisi and others."

**I should also mention that my entire life I've had a deep fascination with St. Francis of Assisi because he could communicate with animals (supernatural) and that's all I've ever wanted. I love animals so much. **

My new series represents the wounds of Stigmata, portrayed in a modern way to blur the lines between my Catholic upbringing and the last two years of my life surrounded by the Christian church. It is not meant to make fun of or slander anyone or anything (I have been known to poke fun at the Church when she deserves it), it's simply what goes on inside my head. 

Each drawing will only be made 20 times and will be signed and numbered. 

 The church I grew up in, St. Francis in Missoula Montana. 

The church I grew up in, St. Francis in Missoula Montana. 

 My beloved Granny with the Bishop and a priest. 

My beloved Granny with the Bishop and a priest. 

 My brother Alex being baptized while my oldest brother Dillon looks cute and my mom (yellow) looks perfect. 

My brother Alex being baptized while my oldest brother Dillon looks cute and my mom (yellow) looks perfect. 

 Yours truly as the virgin Mary in my schools Christmas pageant. I was Mary 3 years in a row (until parents complained bc it's kind of the main gig). Fun fact, i peed my costume every year on dress rehearsal day. Childhood anxiety is fun. 

Yours truly as the virgin Mary in my schools Christmas pageant. I was Mary 3 years in a row (until parents complained bc it's kind of the main gig). Fun fact, i peed my costume every year on dress rehearsal day. Childhood anxiety is fun. 

Mercedes Tabish