This year, as a first, I thought I might try to work towards a themed Art Award. I chose the prestigious religious Mandorla Art Award. The theme for 2016 was 'The Resurrection'.
I wasn't selected as a finalist for the exhibition. Nevertheless, it was a great experience as many aspects needed to be researched and brought together to form an expressive unit.
This was my entry.
My statement about the artwork and how it addresses the theme of
This sculpture depicts both Christ’s suffering as well as forgiveness. It’s filled with symbols of Christ’s divine mission. For many people the ‘Resurrection story’, however, is hard to believe. The artist therefore tries to present the work in a naïve art approach and incorporates many symbolic pictures: sacrifice, body and blood, peace, forgiveness, eternal cycle. Although being crucified his spirit and heart remain unbroken, free and live on in eternity. Only the nails and blood on the cross remind the viewer of Christ’s tragic end on earth. All materials used are recycled and come to life again just as life continues after death. Since the Romans crucified Christ in the most barbaric act only the roughest tool was good enough to reflect this: the chainsaw was used to shape and treat Jesus’ body, deliberately leaving bark untouched in two places - heart and mind – they stay at peace both with his Father and his worshipers even in his darkest hours. Christ’s body is left untreated, raw, in the flesh (made from NZ Christmas tree, then wire brushed = more torture). Over time natural cracks will appear naturally tormenting the sculptured body even further and so contributing to a slow decaying process. Raw local timber was used by the Romans to make the crucifix (here it’s Jarrah beams), a crown of thorns was given to mock Jesus of Nazarene, the “King of Jews” (INRI tag by Pontius Pilate), and to add more pain. However, Jesus accepted the immense physical pain and forgives his tormentors and all sinners alike. Both the body of Christ and his blood are celebrated in the tradition of today’s Catholic Church in the Eucharist or Holy Communion, which is both a sacrifice and a meal. The Church believes in the real presence of Jesus who died for our sins. As we receive Christ’s Body and Blood, we are also nourished spiritually and brought closer to God: 'For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until he comes' (1 Cor. 11:26). The turned and varnished Jarrah base is round and represents the turning earth, with carved edging (indicating that people change it - take, dig, build and live on and of the earth), even doubles up as a tombstone that keeps all earthly things below. As the body will rest underground to become part of earth’s cycle again there was no need for portraying Christ’s lower body. Only when one breaks the seal of the earth (the reason for a varnish finish on the Jarrah base) after death one is able to transcend to God the Father in Heaven. As Christ has risen he left the earth and us behind. “My peace I give you; my peace I leave with you” he told his friends the night before he was executed. And when he came back he said: “Peace be with you”. He comes back, spreads his arms and shares peace with us, his gift to us (symbolically indicated through his extended silver wire hands releasing the peace doves) and hope that he will come again. Christ’s aura as well as the cycle of life and death is also hinted by the stainless steel circle, the ideal symbol of "things eternal". This strong and durable bond is also holding the Resurrection story together: life cycle, death, eternal life – transition from earth to heaven. Jesus and his arms are showing the way – up.
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