It’s amazing that a month has passed since I last posted.  It’s been a busy time, with deadlines for ArtMix, a show/sale, and for the Stations of the Cross Exhibit at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Frankfort IN.  As I posted earlier, the stations of the cross are a stretch for me, and this was a challenging project both conceptually and technically.

I requested the St. Veronica station because the story is about the action of a woman, and it’s about cloth.  I *know*  about cloth. Veronica (or Berenice) takes pity on Jesus as he drags up the road to Golgotha with sweat and blood running down his face. She reaches out and wipes his face with her veil (or hands him the veil and he wipes his own face and hands her back the cloth; this makes no sense to me — she would have presumably been wearing her veil and his hands were plenty full already) and the imprint of his face remains on the napkin and it acquires miraculous powers. Whether it was a veil, a napkin, or a handkerchief, it goes by the Latin sudarium, meaning “sweat-cloth”.   I began thinking and researching and exploring traditional representations of this station.  I found two in particular that got me going:  the relic The Sudarium of St. Veronica in the Kunsthistorische Museum in Vienna, and  the Master of Flemalle’s St.Veronica, ca. 1410, in the Stadelsches Kunstinstitute, Frankfurt.

I made a diptych in the form of a hinged reliquary that closes and latches shut.  For those who are interested, the following post talks about materials and techniques in more detail, but basically I took two 12″square shadow boxes, pseudo-plastered the outsides and painted them, then using a cool fabric that suggests embossed metal, and matboard cutouts, created the interior frames.  Inside the frames I used three almost-the-same inkjet prints on silk of The Holy Face, handled in different ways, to evoke the meaning of this Station of the Cross.

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On the left The Holy Face is obscured by a scrim of metallic organza and protected by a frame of “metal”, quite correct and sanctified. The right-hand panel expands the frame, bringing us face to face with the Christ, and the imprinted veil almost billows out to us, a palpable talisman of compassion and belief.

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The main image. Inkjet print of a scan of a layered textile piece, embellished with machine stitched "thorns" and coral beads.

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Detail of The Holy Face

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On the outside front of the reliquary I loosely interpret the wallpaper in the Master of Flemalle’s St.Veronica as an aging fresco.

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The back of the reliquary is based on another motif from Master of Flemalle’s wallpaper

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