On 23rd December, Mary of the Sweet Kiss II, a work by glass artist Yorgos Papadopoulos, was auctioned and raised money at a fundraising party organised by Anthoulla Pantelides at Cibo Cafe in Southgate, London. The purpose of the fundraiser was to allow Maria Whalley, diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, to get alternative treatment at the Paracelsus Clinic in Switzerland.
Mary of the Sweet Kiss II seemed very appropriate for this charitable purpose because of the deeper meaning of the work: inspired by the traditional Panagia Glykophilousa icon which depicts the Virgin Mary caressing her son with a sweet kiss. Maria not only shares her name with the Virgin, but also the motherly love and warmth towards her children. But like in the Byzantine representations, the madonna appears sad, seemingly contemplating the coming Passion. It can only vaguely be imagined how the fear of leaving ones children behind must sadden the young mother. But the golden halo can also be seen as symbolic for the healing. After all, gold is widely used in the research for a cure of certain types of cancer.