Saturday, 7 April 2012
Here in the middle of the Easter weekend I find myself compelled to put a little time aside to post something here and paradoxically lost for what it should be. So what I have settled on is a painting and just a few thoughts. Easter has always seemed loaded with paradox the more I think about it, not least for the fact that the most pivotal and important event in the christian narrative has somehow got itself strangely entangled into what was a pagan celebration and hence its moving timetable around the lunar cycle. I've been drawn to one painting in particular this time 'Crucified Tree Form - the agony'
by Theyre Lee-Elliott (1903-1988) from the Methodist art collection and I thank my mate banksyboy for introducing me to this wonderful collection. The painting as the title suggests very directly conveys the agony of the crucifixion with none of the often bolted on distractions of iconography that often clutter pieces about this subject, instead we find a string of barbed wire, rotting flesh on a rather jaundice yellow background.
The artist Theyre Lee Elliott I have discovered to my surprise (after the ubiquitous google search) was a quite brilliant graphic artist too. Brought up as a Christian, but his sister says that he was '..definitely not a practising Christian, Lee Elliot seemed to occupy a space similar to the one I find myself in at the moment, which also resonates with me when I look at this painting.
I can't end this post without confessing that for some unknown reason this Easter I've been thinking about Judas' part in the whole narrative. Perhaps a psycho analyst could shed a bit of light on that! But I seem to keep coming back to his role in this whole story, in fact, how this deeply flawed and tragic person, the ultimate 'bad guy' alters the course of events, of history even, then remorseful he's still unable to live with what he's done.