Thursday, 20 March 2008

Easter Icons 2008

On Tuesday I went to Bunyan Baptist Church, Stevenage, for Easter Icons 2008. This is the fourth year that Bunyan has hosted an Easter space, and its purpose is to provide an aid and inspiration to the preparations for Easter. It's constructed in the church and consists of an interactive, multi-sensory installation which enables you to journey through fourteen stations of the cross. Andy Goodliff is the curator and provided the structure and the words, but this is an event in which a number of the young people with whom he works have made a creative contribution. I found it highly imaginative and effective, employing video loops, music, spoken audio tracks, scripture readings, meditation exercises, prayer actions.

I was particularly moved by several of the stations. 'Jesus is anointed at Bethany' involved spraying yourself with some perfume and asking the question, 'What do I want to be remembered for?' Mk. 14.9. 'The House of the High Priest' presented a wall with a hanging orange, 'Guantanamo' jump-suit and a pair of hand-cuffs. Another, 'Peter's Denial' made the bald statement, 'I am Peter.' And the final station, 'Jesus is laid in the tomb', a large painting of the sealed tomb, had the accompanying words, 'All hope is lost. Jesus dies. Jesus is not the Messiah.'

Bunyan, Stevenage will most definitely celebrate Easter, and with baptisms, but in due course. For now, this Easter space helps to stay with the story from the inside, its building tension, its pain, its desolation and hopelessness. For me it was another meaningful and enriching Holy Week experience. Thank you Andy and friends!

1 comment:

Trevor said...

As someone who has often flippantly referred to Easter as "the time we rememeber when God gave us chocolate", the Easter Egg Cross was probably the most powerful image for me.