The Easter Road

The Easter Road

Light Into Light

The Easter Road to Pentecost

The Light into Light series has won one of four Bene awards presented each year by Ministry and Liturgy Magazine in California. The jury was made up of multidisciplinary professionals in sacred art and architecture. Entries were judged on their liturgical relevance, originality, overall concept, aesthetic appeal, and craftman ship & use of materials.

It was also featured in the United Church Publication, “mandate”. Congratulations to Barb, Norm, and Ashley.

Barb and Norm

The Easter Road consists of a series of eight images designed in 2008 by Barbara Carr. The images are of mixed media, created with many layers of tissue and other papers overlaid on a background colour wash of acrylic paint. Each image includes the circle (a symbol of unity, eternity, completeness), one of eight colours (the three primaries, the three secondaries, plus black and white), a natural form of light (e.g., sun, moon, etc.), and often a reference to the Ontario landscape.

Each image is accompanied by a psalm written by Norm Esdon and music by Ashley Vanstone.

The Angel

The Angel

art & psalm inspired by: John 21:15-19

“The Angel” shows circles of energy/power radiating from the Angel’s face, in subtle rainbow colours, from white to yellow to orange, etc. The overall colour theme is white.

The natural light source represented is the lightening flashing around the Angel’s head. Other details include triangular pupils in the eyes (representing the Trinity, and also conveying an other-worldly appearance); the colours of dawn in the Angel’s skin tone; and the hand gestures, one down to indicate the empty tomb; the other up to indicate “Christ is risen.”

— Artwork by Barb Carr

STONES ROLLED BACK

Bless you Wise and Holy One
for caring enough to shake us
until the stones that entomb us
are rolled back.

Bless you for rolling back
our fear of change
our fixation on security
our idolizing the familiar
our distrust of openness
our dread of dead ends.

Bless you for opening us to
the challenge of change
the opportunity in risk
the adventure of the unfamiliar
the soul-to-soul of being more open
the new beginning in a dead end.

And bless you for your brilliant angel
who sits upon our stone
lest we be tempted to re-tomb
and roll our stone back.

Shaker of Tombs, Roller of Stones,
bless you for caring enough
to shake us open. AMEN.

— Psalm text by Norm Esdon

The Garden

The Garden

art and psalm inspired by John 20:1-18

“The Garden” incorporates the circle theme in the round stone, the curved stairway, the curving trees, and the energy radiating from the Risen One. The overall colour theme is green, and the natural light source represented is sunrise.

Mary is in the act of turning, with one hand indicating the empty tomb and the steps she has climbed, and the other hand reaching out to the Risen One, who extends a hand towards her. There is light in the empty tomb, since Mary has just seen angels there. The steps represent spiritual progress, while the trilliums represent the Trinity, and of course are an Ontario reference.

— Artwork by Barb Carr

The Road to Emmaus

The Road to Emmaus


art & psalm inspired by Luke 24:13-32

“The Road to Emmaus” shows the Risen One talking to two followers as they approach Emmaus. The circle theme is evident in the setting sun, and the curving buildings and trees.

The colour theme is orange, and the natural light source represented is sunset. On the right is a vineyard and on the left is a green wheat field, referring back to the wine and bread of the Last Supper and forward to the meal that will be shared in Emmaus. The buildings and pine trees imply an Ontario setting.

— Artwork by Barb Carr

— Music by Ashley Vanstone

Thomas

Thomas


art & psalm inspired by: John 20:19-29

“Thomas” presents the Northern Lights as the natural light source, and black as the colour theme. The circle theme appears in the curve of the landscape (giving a slightly off-balance feel), in the figure’s outstretched arms, and in the rounded rocks. The figure’s position expresses openness, acceptance, praise, awe.

— Artwork by Barb Carr

The Fish

The Fish


art & psalm inspired by John 21:1-14

“The Fish” incorporates the circle theme in the rings of light around the central figure, and in the curving landscape, water and clouds.

— Artwork by Barb Carr

The Lamb

The Lamb


art & psalm inspired by: John 21:15-19

“The Lamb” shows a lamb held in Peter’s arm. In his other hand, he holds the shepherd’s crook, a symbol of pastoral care, while around his neck is the key to the Kingdom of Heaven.

The key features three interlocking gold circles, representing the Trinity, and two crosses, one for Jesus and one for Peter. The border of his robe is a stylized fish pattern, a reference to “fishers of men.” The colour theme is yellow, the colour traditionally associated with Peter, while the circle theme is evident in the curving stripes in his robe. The natural light source is the light within all living beings, seen in the lamb’s eye.

— Artwork by Barb Carr

— Music by Ashley Vanstone

Ascension

Ascension
art & psalm inspired by Acts 1:1-11

“Ascension” shows the two figures in white referred to in the scripture passage, while the circular cloud is a swirling energetic spiral around the natural light source — a “sun dog”, i.e., a piece of a rainbow.

This is a reference back to the rainbow in Noah’s story, which represented a promise from God, and also refers to the Risen One’s promise of the Holy Spirit. The colour theme is violet, while the curving rocks of the mountaintop echo the circular theme.

— Artwork by Barb Carr

— Psalm by Norm Esdon

FAITH IN TRANSITION

O Master of Transition
our childhood faith
— rooted in the material
the magical, the literal —
soon dematerializes —
thins, fades, rises, and
is swallowed by the cloud of
our need for proof.

When childhood faith tries
to move on — we hang on;
We stand in its empty place
hurting heart and whirling mind
gazing after it — trying to fathom
where it has gone
what it has become.

You ask why
we stand staring into space;
You tell us faith will return
as mysteriously
as dematerialized
as we saw it go.

You urge us to return
to the Holy City
to pray and to study
to examine ourselves
to worship and work
in your world.

You counsel us
to watch and to wait
for your transition of
literal to metaphorical
magical to mystical
material to spiritual.

O Master of Transition
with faith in transition
we watch and
we wait. AMEN.

Pentecost

Pentacost

art & psalm inspired by Acts 2:1-13

“Pentecost” uses red as the colour theme, while the circle is evident in the rings around the dove and in the partial ring of flames.

The dove is a well-known symbol for the Holy Spirit, while the flames are the “tongues of fire” mentioned in the scripture passage. In the flames are pieces of text from Acts 2:1-10 in many different languages — representing the disciples’ words being understood by speakers of many different languages. White flames/feathers bridge the space between the dove and the flames, and echo the shape of the feathers in the Angel’s wings in the first image.

— Artwork by Barb Carr