Saturday, December 29, 2012

Colouring a contemporary stations of the cross

Amid the ancient history of Saint Salvador Cathedral, Brugge, is a contemporary stations of the cross. Beautifully arranged in a side chapel, it is one, of very few signs, that this faith might be living.

A project by Dutch artist, Jac Bisschops, between 2008 and 2010, he aimed to communicate the essential message of each Station of the Cross. His aim is contemplation, a seeking for simplicity, harmony and clarity. The hubris of the cathedral was thus a thoroughly fitting backdrop.

A feature is the limited palette, five colours

  • blue for infinity
  • brown for transitory earth
  • black for darkness
  • white for purity
  • gold for resurrection

Each base colour is used three times. Layering is used to provide a rich intensity of colour.

Another feature is the interplay of horizontal and vertical lines. In this sense, it has echoes of New Zealand artist, Colin McCahon and his stations of the cross (although McCahonh uses more of a two colour palette).

Together, simple palette, straight lines, rich layers, it actually works. I find myself slowing, pausing. In the concentrating, I find an inviting clarity, a simplicity that reminds me of life’s essence, the reality of Easter. (For those interested, a YouTube video, which includes every piece is here.)

Posted by steve at 05:11 AM

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