Sunday, April 1, 2007
Palm Sunday Art Piece
Here are a few shots of my completed and installed art piece done for Palm Sunday at First Church of Hadley. Yes, it really is the first church, established by the people who settled Hadley, Massahcusetts, on the Connecticut River, in 1659. That's early for the U.S. of A. The current building hails from 1810.
The piece depicts Jewish pilgrims entering one of the Jerusalem city gates for the Passover Celebration, as Jesus did on Palm Sunday. Inside the gate however, awaits not a celebration, but the "jaws of death." In the distance, there are storm clouds and vultures overhead on one side, while 3 mountains (Trinity) out the other side. On the stormy hillside are 3 crosses. On the sunny hillsides there are flowers, a flock of sheep and one lost sheep with a shepherd approaching. A white dove overlooks the entire scene. The piece is made from multiple pieces of wood, layered with paint & papers. The pilgrims are made from swatches of fabric shaped with heavy gel medium. The mouth is recessed 1.5 " in a black shadow box.
The 7 little "memory boxes" in front of the art piece are embellished with glittered designs and each contains some item to recall an event that occurred during holy week: a piece of bread for the last supper, flowers for the garden of Gethsemane, silver coins for Judas's betrayal, a branch with thorns for the crown of thorns, nails for the crucifixion, an empty cross for when Jesus was taken down, dead and buried and lastly, a stone for the tomb that was sealed with a boulder. The boxes were opened by 7 children during the children's messgae where I spoke about the very difficult and sad week that Jesus, his family and friends had between Palm Sunday and Easter/ Ressursection Sunday. It is my contention that when we focus in on what occurred this Monday -Saturday, then Easter morning has signifcantly more meaning for us.
This is the first time I have done an art piece for a church service and where I had the oppotunity to explain it to an audience.