A new exhibition, described as a “pilgrimage for art lovers” will be held in London this Lent, taking viewers on a journey through the iconic story of Jesus’ crucifixion. The exhibition, organised with the University of Cambridge and King’s College London, uses classical and modern art to bring the Stations of the Cross to life for people of all faiths and none.
On the day he died, Jesus walked the Via Dolorosa through the streets of Jerusalem. Over two thousand years later, this torturous journey resonates with contemporary struggles for people of many faiths and cultures, in particular calling to mind the hazardous crossings of refugees from today’s Middle East.
The Stations of the Cross exhibition, held in 14 different locations across London from 10 February – 28 March, presents thought-provoking art in order to tell the story of Easter in a new way. Viewers will follow a trail across the city, mapping the geography of the Holy Land onto London’s streets.
Station 10: "Sea of Colour" by Guler Ates (in progress)
The artworks weave through religious and secular spaces, from cathedrals to museums and public squares. The art on display runs the gamut from classical Old Master paintings to sculptures, mixed-media pieces and video installations.
Those chosen to contribute to this unique exhibition include Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists. Among them are modern artists including Michael Takeo Magruder, G. Roland Biermann and Guler Ates. The exhibition is co-curated by Aaron Rosen, lecturer in Sacred Traditions and the Arts at King’s College London and the author of Art and Religion in the 21st Century, recently named one of the best books of 2015 by The Times.
Station 1: "Victim. No Resurrection?" by Terry Duffy
Art lovers can take the trail by downloading maps from the Stations of the Cross website, or using the custom-made app, “Alight” on a smartphone. Podcasts are also available online, featuring leading artists, academics and clergy, to tell people more about the meaning behind each Station and work of art.
Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney, said:
“These remarkable Stations of the Cross represent an iconic Lent pilgrimage across the landscape of contemporary London. They navigate a journey filled with modern meaning – dispossessed communities, fleeing refugees, displaced identities, and all who suffer injustice and oppression. This is visual art which melts the distinctions between sacred and secular, past and present, material and spiritual, offering up a liminal experience here on the streets of this culturally diverse capital city”.
The exhibition is supported by the University of Cambridge Inter-faith Programme, King’s College London, Coexist House and Art & Sacred Places. It runs from 10 February – 28 March 2016 and is free and open to all.
For more information see http://www.coexisthouse.org.uk/stations2016.html.
To read Aaron Rosen's reflections on the journey from conception to realisation, see the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme blog.
Top image: Station 14: "Crude Ashes: Three Faces for Death, Burial, and Resurrection" by Leni Diner Dothan (preparatory sketch)