Tuesday 12 August 2008

Jesus walks

One legacy of World Youth Day which I have encountered since arriving in Sydney is the project http://www.jesuswalksart.com/ whose works were exhibited "down town" during WYD. I was most surprised by the subject which the various artists worked upon, and extremely surprised by what they created. You see more of these ghastly statues on the Website.
However, I would be even more surprised to find such works of art in the UK. The British secular movement has cast all civic Christian religious forms to the four winds. Yet, here in Australia, the JesusWalks project is an evident sign of the need for the New Evangelisation. The website presents this project as follows;

Each work engages with the idea of “faith” in the contemporary cultural context. The artists incorporate their interpretations onto a fibreglass sculpture of the iconic image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

An "idea" of faith is not Faith. In the UK we are used to the neo-Pelagian project which, while keeping Christ conveniently packaged as an idea which we should know about and even toy with, nevertheless holds back from embracing Him as the necessary fulfillment of human life. It seems to me that this Australian art project reveals a keener openness to the New Evangelisation than neo-Pelagianism does, for these "ideas" focus, as you can see, upon the Sacred Heart of the Redeemer and therefore touch upon the centre of the Mystery of Faith. We should pray that this art project will lead many beyond the "idea" to the person of Christ himself. Incidentally, the statue I photographed is the only statue of the Sacred Heart I have ever seen whose hands are pierced. These holes in the fibreglass say a lot more than do all the pretty colours!


Tom said...

Well, this is certainly better than the statues of banana-lamb or cows you find in various European cities. In fact it sounds great as long as it maintains proper dignity. But since the project is Catholic then this shouldn't be a problem.

Atlanta said...

May I ask if your problem is with the art itself? As a non-Catholic, I am not sure I completely understand.

Fr Richard Aladics said...

The art is a sign of the need for a new evengelisation. That is my point.

Atlanta said...

Well some of that art is pretty disturbing, the very first one I looked at displeased me.
I don't like it at all. I am still not sure where you are coming from. Do you approve of this?

Fr Richard Aladics said...

You'll have to make up your own mind about the art, Atlanta. Presumably you are able to do that.