This piece is an interpretation of the scene at Golgotha when Jesus promises the Penitent Thief that he will also attain Paradise. ” ‘And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied to him, ‘Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’ 23:39-43 ”
This scene makes me think of the bit from John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” This is one of the most inclusive verses in the New Testament.
The photographs used to create this piece were taken in Indiana, on U.S. 52 (the three crosses are actually the neglected superstructure of an old billboard), New York City (Grand Central Station), Sullivan’s Island SC, and Turkey.
MONTICELLO TRIPTYCH : This piece is informed by an overall theme of water, as is appropriate for a church in “the land of lakes”. The left-hand panel represents creation coming out of chaos per: Gen.1.2: …and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. and Ps.24.1-2 The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. This panel is headed by “Xi“, the initial letter of the Greek “chaos”, and uses the schematic fish shape for the eye of God.
The right-hand panel represents the Flood and the threat of a return to pre-creation chaos if God should turn away per: Gen.7. 11-12: …on the day all the fountains of the deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. This panel is headed by “Rho“, the initial letter of the Greek “rheos” (stream), and uses the fish shape as the dove.
The dominant, center panel represents Christ as fisherman per: Matt.4.19: And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men. (similarly, Mark 1.17) as well as the sacrament of baptism (from baptizo, the Greek for immersion).
The star as lower left representing the nativity and the house of David, and the cross at the upper right representing the death and sacrifice, are linked by a gold fishing net symbolising Christ’s life and ministry. The glory of the risen Christ is suggested by the colours and rays at the very top of the arch, behind the traditional “Xi Rho“, the first two letters of “Christos”. The fish shape is used in its usual guise as a symbol for the Christ.
“We were so lucky to find Brigid and examples of her work easily accessible.She provided samples and sketches, and produced a hanging intensely warm in color, feeling and significance.” Jan Lindborg, First Presbyterian Church, Monticello IN
“I received one of Brigid Manning-Hamilton’s beautiful stoles as a gift for ordination. I love her creative attention to detail, as well as her ability to craft a piece that not only reflects my personality and ministry by fits perfectly with our worship space. Brigid’s passion and talent for art as sacred expression is a gift that I treasure.” Lisa Schubert
For further discussion of this piece go here.