Thursday, 1 April 2010

Stations of the cross in Sydney

Yesterday I went to see the Stations of the Cross exhibition at St Ives Uniting Church in Sydney. It features 15 commissioned works (the 14 traditional stations, plus the resurrection) by some of Australia's leading visual artists. If you're in Sydney, you might like to go along and check it out – Easter Sunday is the last day of the exhibition.

My favourites (click to enlarge) include this triptych by Kevin McKay – this is the 13th station, where Jesus is taken down from the cross. The middle canvas is torn open:

After we viewed the exhibition yesterday, I gave a short impromptu reflection on this work. The outstretched hand of God has become the lifeless hand of Adam. A little ladder leans against the cross. The ladder, like the cross – and like the painting itself – is our own handiwork. Silent and bereft, we wait to receive the dead god into our arms. And at the heart of all things is a gaping wound. As the spear rends Christ's side, the very fabric of creation is torn open. This wound is the world's healing. It is the opening through which God's glory shines into the world. As Leonard Cohen sings: "There is a crack, a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in."

Here's another triptych from the exhibition. This is Euan McLeod's depiction of the 9th station, where Jesus falls:


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