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Life of Jesus told in art

By Frank Flegel

04/01/2015

REGINA — A group of 12 artists working in a variety of media tell the story of the life of Christ from birth to death in an exhibition of their work at Luther College Chapel, University of Regina.

“I needed to take a break,” said ceramic artist Louise Tessier, in an interview with the PM, “and I came across the writing of Father Thomas Stanley, a Society of Mary priest who wrote a text connecting scriptural verses to plants and flowers.”

Tessier decided to curate an exhibition featuring his writings and through her connections with the Saskatchewan Craft Council invited 12 artists to create works describing significant events in the life of Christ. The result is a display of jewelry, wall hangings, paintings, ceramic, clay, stained glass and wood works each depicting an event in Jesus’ life. The feature work is 15 ceramic panels contained in Fijian Mahogany frames hanging on the wall opposite the chapel entrance behind the altar.

The first panel bears the title, The Garden Way of the Cross, and the remaining 14 depict the familiar Stations of the Cross, but Christ is not in the panels. Instead, they all contain flowers that could relate to the event.

For example, in the third station, in which Jesus is betrayed by Judas’ kiss and taken prisoner, mistletoe is featured. In the eighth panel, where he is condemned to death, lily of the valley or Our Lady’s Tears is featured. The entire work is based on the scriptural writings of Stanley. The ceramic tiles are Tessier’s work.

The exhibition has been seen in various locations, usually churches of different denominations, across Western Canada, but mostly in the prairie provinces and in several U.S. States.

“The Holy Spirit helped me in that,” said Tessier, referring to exhibition locations. The exhibition, Moved by the Spirit: Artistic Impressions on the Life of Jesus, will be shown in the Luther Chapel until April 10.

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