by BOB JONES
Six Panels Based on Aspects of Christ's Character
The idea behind this set of six panels is to explore some aspects of the theological character of Christ in a way that refers to the world's artistic expression in pattern. My ideas are a personal response to what I have seen and not an academic study. This is to give a sense of Christ's involvement in the whole world and that all individuals have culturally based responses to the message of God. The panels are not meant to be interpreted in one particular way but as a visual place to wander and meditate on the Incarnation. They were designed to be seen as a sequence starting with Christ as the Shepherd and moving through to Christ the Water of Life as a place of meditation leading to Christ the Light of the World. What I have written about my own artistic journey is only to give some clues to help those who look at the paintings. I hope that individuals will read and saver the images with interpretations that are their own.
CHRIST THE SHEPHERD AFRICA
The pattern work on the side edges of this panel is referencing some
designs from Yoruba carvings. Somecarvings are placed on doors to
important buildings andthis panel stands at the beginning of the series as
opening onto the whole six panel meditation. The themeof this painting is the
care of Christ for the places wherepeople live as represented by the
buildings, land and thewater. The imagery uses patterns from a range of
cultural traditions in the African continent decoratingvarious buildings old
and new, ancient cultural roots tocontemporary life. The hands and arms of
the weepingChrist as he looks over the city recalling the eventrecorded in
the Gospel are in a style that is meant to echo some Coptic illustrations.
CHRIST THE TREE OF LIFE THE AMERICAS
Drawing on imagery from the Americas the central idea here is the rain forest as representing the abundant
growth of Christ's creativity in the lives of people. The abundant variety and growth of the rain forest grows on shallow soil as the love of God produces abundance in the experience of people and
the great buttress rooted trees are a symbol of the mighty strength and resource that is in Christ. The pattern work around the edge is drawn from the woodland bag patterns of the North American
Indians. In the forest floor is a Mexican head of a depiction of death recalling Christians' belief that Christ's triumph over death was achieved in his resurrection. The crosses dispel the darkness
and light breaks through. The snake like pattern taken from a building from Maya culture is meant to recall The Fall and the Garden of Eden. The thorns are another depiction of the wounds of
CHRIST THE BREAD OF LIFE AUSTRALASIA
This panel and the panel depicting Christ the True Vine refer to the Eucharist and are placed each side of the altar. It draws on the
pattern work and imagery from the Pacific. The patterns around the outside of the panel are from treasure boxes made by Maori craftsmen with the inference that, as in the parable, here is Christ the
treasure that is worth giving all you have for. The bread, the body of Christ, is given to the receiving people and the body of Christ is wounded by the spear using a simple piece of Aboriginal line
drawing. For the Aboriginal people the land is often the basis of their work depicted by very personal symbols which speak of the central importance the land has for them, as Christ is central for
Christians. The spear pierces the body of Christ; his body is broken.
CHRIST THE TRUE VINE EUROPE
Here the way that Christians celebrate the Eucharist is represented by depicting the chalice with a background of street paving often found in the cities of
Europe to give the idea of Christ walking and being part of the every day routine of people's lives. Also the mosaic is meant to invoke the connections with the Byzantine mosaics in places such a
Ravenna. The chalice echoes Art Deco pieces recalling Europe's design tradition. Border patterns are taken from Celtic and other devotional manuscripts. The nails piercing the design, the third
depiction of the wounds of Christ, are meant to connect with Grunewald's Isenheim altar and its dramatic and expressive depiction of the agony of Christ on the cross. The colours move up from dark
shades through the olive leaves of hope to the light of the living vine at the top of the panel, the triumph of life over death through the blood of Christ.
CHRIST THE WATER OF LIFE ASIA
The reference to water as a central image in Christian belief is focused on in this panel. It has a more open and sparse quality and is attempting to echo
the style of clean lines and use of space in the traditions of some artists from Asia. Gardens and buildings may present a language of balance, calm and mental readiness and at the end of this
journey through the panels it is a place of reflection and peace. Even so there are different representations of water: the calm of the river, the power of the sea. The border influenced by Chinese
ceramic designs also picks up the theme of water. In this place of meditation there is a depiction of a broken tree reminding the viewer of the suffering of Christ and the ongoing pain of humanity.
The fish reminds believers of the eternal presence of Christ.
CHRIST THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD ARCTICA AND ANTARCTICA
St Anthony of Padua