‘Stations of the Cross’; art works by Susan Lily Brisco
‘It has been on my heart for some time to engage with Jesus’s journey to the cross from a creative viewpoint. As I immersed myself in the scriptures and narratives, I feel that I too have taken a spiritual journey following Christ in his journey.’
The narratives and art works for focus are as follows:
- Jesus is condemned
- Jesus takes up the cross
- Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus
- Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
- Jesus is nailed to the cross
- Jesus is crucified
- Jesus is taken down from the cross
- Jesus is laid in the tomb
Medium: Ink on Gesso primed canvas Dimensions: 600 x 750 mm
1.Jesus is Condemned
Pontius Pilate questions Jesus, asking if he was king of the Jews. Jesus answers “So you say”, but then says nothing more. My interpretation shows Jesus with head down in defiance whilst Pilate engages with Jesus, frustrated at his silence and frustrated with the Pharisees insistence to pass sentence. Behind this narrative lies the account od Pilate’s wife who sends word to Pilate that he should have nothing to do with Jesus as she had wrestled all night in a dream about him. Pilate did what he could to save Jesus but it was written (Matthew 27.11-14)
2. Jesus takes up the cross
This depicts the moment that Jesus first takes hold of the cross. This is a pivotal moment. My interpretation depicts that moment of no return … Jesus was ordered to carry his wooden beam through streets as a spectacle. I have shown the hands of Christ struggling to get a grip of this heavy wooden beam and take the weight. ‘They led him out to crucify Him’. (Matthew 27.30)
3. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry His Cross
Simon of Cyrene was ordered to help Jesus carry the burden of His heavy cross. I have depicted two pairs of hands, those of Christ’s and those of Simon’s hands taking up the load (Luke 23.26). So often we find our burdens too heavy to bear and we get a helping hand. The Lord takes our extra weight or burdens without us knowing.
4.Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
As he continues his journey to Golgotha Jesus encounters the women. These women were reported to be displaying distress and Jesus said to them, “Women of Jerusalem! Don’t cry for me, but for your children. (Luke 23. 28). We all show grief in different ways and the narrative depicts three women in a group. One woman hides her face as through she can’t watch, one reaches out as thought trying to touch the ground Jesus walks upon and one stands with eye closed internalising her feelings. The space to the foreground left is empty as though Christ is about to enter. In the background, a figure stands alone. This figure tinted with a light blue wash represents Mary, mother of Jesus. Here I resonate the anguish that mothers share for their children, always caring and always there. She bravely sees her son beaten and bruised by the Roman guards and is in view to give comfort to Jesus.
4. Jesus is nailed to the Cross
This was a cruel cold-hearted act by the Roman guards and must have been excruciatingly painful to endure. My interpretation has focussed on the hands of Christ. They have been left pure and unblemished to allude to the purity of Christ.
5. Jesus dies on the Cross
The work depicts Christ in position on the cross to die for our sins. He adorns a crown of thorns. Matthew 27. 45 says that Jesus cried put with a loud shout “Eli Eli, lema sabachthani “which means “My God why did you abandon me?” Jesus is depicted, with head fallen forwards as his earthly life slowly ebbs away.
7. The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross
When it was evening Joseph of Arimathea went to the presence of Pilate and asked for Jesus’s body. The narrative captures the moment as the limp body of Jesus is carefully lowered to the ground and the tenderness of caring becomes evident as Jesus’s mother gently holds his lifeless hand. This tenderness opposes the previously cruel treatment by the Romans and Pharisees (Matthew 27.57).
8. Jesus is laid in the tomb.
The narrative depicts Jesus in death, restful and pure. Looking on is Mary, mother of Christ who was with the Lord in his birth and with him in death, loyal and caring as any mother (Matthew 27. 59).