This piece was painted as part of the Arts Voice London “Way of the Streets” art jam. The project brought together 17 artists to create 14 works based on the themes of the stations of the cross in order to shine a light on issues of social justice that affect London, Ontario within an urban context. Collaborating with a religious organization was a first for me, but I felt that given my past history of collaboration with scientists, I would be intellectually dishonest if I didn’t explore the full range of the human search for meaning. For more thoughts on my participation you can check out my open letter here.
Station 14, “Jesus is laid in the tomb” was the jumping off point for this piece. I wanted to address issues surrounding the tragedy of the commons, and approaches to urban renewal through the creation of “empty spaces” within the city, waiting for the general public to insert their own meaning. In both urban and natural contexts, renewal is often impossible without a cleansing, restorative fire making way for the new.
I found particular resonance with the concept that the crux of the resurrection story is not that Jesus was found in the tomb, but that it was found empty— that empty spaces are necessary for personal growth and urban redemption.
Acrylic on plywood
48 x 96 in
This painting is in the private collection of Martin Anderson-Clutz.