I have several ideas for linoblock cuts. One I’ve already started, and it’s in my room. It’s the largest one I’ve ever done and I started it, got a little scared, and stopped.
I knew I wanted to make a different one, too, simpler, and I purchased the block for the simpler one. That, too, was in my room.
On Good Friday I went to the liturgy and listened to the story. I know the story, of course, the one we read out loud about the garden and the betrayal and the false trials and the carrying of the cross. I forgot to grab the correct book, though, so when it was the congregation’s turn to say things, I had to deliver from memory. I wasn’t half bad at it, as hard as it is to say the words.
“Anyone who says he is a king is not a friend of Caesar.”
“We have no king but Caesar!”
(“Why,” a voice says, “what evil has He done?”)
(And we shouted all the louder): “Crucify Him!”
A seed was planted in my mind. A linocut. Of Jesus.
It’s like I had to carve it. But, how? I didn’t have time to go shopping. But, wait…the extra block.
I woke up early on Saturday, that space between liturgies of death and hope, early in the morning, in the space between sorrow and parties, and I started carving.
My mother (bless her), who was hosting Easter Dinner, didn’t really say anything when I spent the morning bent over a block, chips of rubber flying across the room.
By the afternoon, I had finished.
The idea for this guy comes from my spiritual life (does every idea for art come from the spiritual life? I typed the first part of the sentence and realized that…).
Starting a few years ago, one of my favorite “places” to close my eyes and imagine in prayer was under the side-wound of Jesus. That side-wound would be like a gushing li’l waterfall all over and I would just exist in the outpouring of grace and mercy.
And then, I hit a season of desolation HARD. Rill hard.
Desolation is tough. You feel far from God, feel like your prayers aren’t worth anything. Even, when I tried to return to the side-wound in my imagination…it would be dry.
I eventually realized, though…I could more easily access the HEART of Jesus through the side-wound.
Now, the heart is my favorite place to pray.
I never would have known that, if not for the season of desolation. God is good like that.
So, here was the inspiration for the cut. 🙂
It practically begged to be carved. I couldn’t ignore the pressure.
Other things of note:
- Jesus has dreadlocks. Like my sister. 🙂
- Jesus has some nice muscles. Because he’s a young dude who did labor, you know?
- Jesus’ heart is a mix of traditional elements (flame/ thorns) and anatomically-correct heart, there.
- Body hair. It wasn’t until I was carving this that I thought to myself: wait, Jesus was Middle-Eastern…he’d be hairy, right? (Don’t judge. I’m naturally blonde. Body hair is not our specialty).
I tried to make this look a little like a map…so you can see that the way to the heart is through the wound, there.
Also!! The words are from a famous prayer: “Wounds of Christ…hide me.”
I gave the original to my brother’s friend, a young man who joined the church on Easter. <3 Family, man. Family, family, family.