Reclaiming an ancient Christian tradition

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By Heather Gallagher

Queenscliff Uniting Church is one of a growing number of churches throughout Australia reinvigorating the Stations of the Cross as a community art event.  This Easter will mark the first time the church has put on such an exhibition, with works set to include a mosaic fire place, which will be a feature of The Garden of Gethsemane, and a crucifix sculpture made from electrical wires.

Rev Kerrie Lingham said the mosaic grew out of the church’s Pentecost service where ‘fire’ coloured tiles were used for reflecting on reconciliation and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

“The mosaic represents a coming together of our community and, in addition to being a feature in the exhibition, will be placed as a focal point in our outdoor chapel,” she said.

Curator Richard Evans has aimed for an inclusive approach, encouraging those in the congregation who don’t think of themselves as artistic to have a go.

“It is perfectly possible to create moving and beautiful works of art without having any particular technical skill,” he said. “You just need enthusiasm, an idea, and a willingness to try.”

The Stations of the Cross is an ancient form of pilgrimage which commemorates the events of the last days of the life of Jesus. Mr Evans has experience curating past exhibitions at the West Preston Baptist Church but was keen to introduce the concept to his new congregation on the Bellarine peninsula.

“People really let their imaginations run wild (at West Preston) – for instance, there was a moving installation that used nappies to symbolise Mary’s grief at the station Jesus speaks to his mother,” he said.

Mr Evans said congregations were able to bring a wealth of talent and insights to an artistic interpretation of the Christ event.
The church has also invited community artists and other groups to contribute.

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