Art

Cross Purposes

Set in the idyllic and incredibly well looked after Hamilton Gardens, the 2011 Stations of the Cross was a visual and cultural feast using works of art from a variety of local artists, along with live performance, Kapa Haka…

Stations of the Cross – Hamilton Gardens

Set in the idyllic and incredibly well looked after Hamilton Gardens, the 2011 Stations of the Cross was a visual and cultural feast. A modern take on an ancient form of Christian spiritual practice, the Stations event stirred deep feelings, using various art forms to follow Christ’s final days as He approached the cross.

The guided pilgrimage through Hamilton’s world famous gardens incorporated 15 stations, using works of art from a variety of local artists, along with live performance, Kapa Haka and plenty of opportunities for public interaction with the events as they unfolded.

“Palletable Communion” by artist Donn Ratana, incorporating Maori elements of Christian belief – a universal religion that crosses all cultural borders.

“Famous Last Words”; photo-art by Shoshana Sachi, detailing the rejection of Jesus by those closest to Him.

A hollow crowd baying for Jesus’ blood. “Authority Figures” by artists Liz Downing and Russell Walker.

More authority figures, a few pretty close to home.

A touching tribute to those who died in the recent Christchurch earthquake. There were far too many crosses, the pain is too real, and the Station was a stark reminder that we need to feel this pain together. Many thoughts and prayers to our brothers and sisters down south.

“Metronome” by artists Mara Berzins, James Brunskill, Caleb Driver, Ryan Sanders, Mike McFall and Ian Charlton. “Uncomfortable deadline. Time is up. Tempo sweating blood.”

A lovely piece of live art. Vocalist Brooke Baker standing in the pond of the magnificent Italian garden singing an original composition called “Lacrimosa/Day of Tears”, sampling Mozart’s “Requiem”, and funnily enough not Handel’s “Messiah”. It was glorious.

The 2011 Stations of the Cross was a collaborative success. It was an immersive event, and any documentation pales in comparison to actually being there and experiencing the pilgrimage in its entirety. It was a massive operation, and I congratulate the hard work by the many people who made the event a success in both imagination and application. They pushed the bar creatively, and one could only wonder what the 2012 Stations of the Cross event will bring. I assume they’ve started planning already.


Photography by Libby Higson. Words by Theo Sangster.

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