My mother is an accomplished artist. The two youngest of my five children are graphic designers. My own art skills have never developed beyond a young child’s attempt at daisies, twiggy trees and suns. I have a great admiration for an artist’s ability to lead you into pondering, to seek deeper meaning beyond the ordinary. Good art is, indeed, a spiritual experience.
A small hamlet in Wales has provided a unique spiritual experience this Lent. St. Michael’s church in Discoed has a congregation of only fifteen members. David Hiam paired up with Charles MacCarthy, a local artist, to commission fourteen different artists to depict the stations of the cross; one station each. The result is stunning. The diversity of art forms is matched by the diversity of the artist’s themselves.
Although most of them have an interest in religion – four belong to a group called Art & the Spirit – doctrinally speaking, they’re a mixed bag. They include an atheist, a Buddhist and, somewhere in between, “a questioning Christian of the Anglican tradition, slightly itinerant”. In a parish that once prided itself on having no resident “Papist or reputed Papist”, they also include a Catholic, and have chosen to illustrate Pope John Paul II’s Scriptural Way of the Cross.
Art critic, Laura Gascoigne provides a thoughtful review of the individual stations. The Tablet also provides a link to photos of the stations themselves. It makes for a powerful holy week meditation.