Here is the whole series together. It represents the three main event of Christianity. The first is the Resurrection, The second, is the Second Coming of Christ, and the last is the final reward. I know some may question why I did not represent Christ's birth or the Crucifixion. While those events are important It is his Atonement and Resurrection that fulfilled the promises made and give us hope for the promises yet to come.
Why Funerary Art
The inspiration to create funerary sculptures came several years ago when I came across from the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris France. The sculpture in this cemetery is amazing, but it was the Raspail Family tomb that caught my attention. It has a figure in a flowing, hooded, cloak standing next to the mausoleum. Her arm is raised and her hand clings to the edge of the window in a tomb. The figure personified someone who had lost a loved one and was just waiting around until they could be together again.
As I looked at contemporary funerary art and spoke with those who had lost someone close. I realized that the sentiments shared in the sculptures I had seen is still common today. But for some reason contemporary funeral markers lack the depth of feeling I saw in the markers at the Pere Lacaise.
This was something I was drawn to, because I too had suffered a great loss. At the age of seventeen I lost my father and best friend, when my father decided to take his own life. I was the last person he spoke to, but there was so much more that needed to be said. After he died, I realized there was more I could have done to show my love and appreciations for him. Being unable to show that love or say those words made my father's passing particularly bitter. In the end it was my faith in Christ and in an afterlife where I would be reunited with my father that helped me through the loss.
My current project focuses on my faith in Christ and deals with three major events that are important to Christians: The resurrection of Christ, His second coming, and receiving our eternal reward.
I chose relief sculpture as my means of expression because it is the language of cemeteries, tombs, and other places where stories are told in stone. But I also chose it because it has presence. When we encounter it, we do more than just view it, we share space with it.
The loss of a loved one is such a personal experience while at the same time a shared one. No one can truly understand how I feel about the loss of my father, but everyone understands what it is loose someone. Just as everyone understands the hope of being reunited with them. So I try to create themes that large groups of viewers can relate to.
In "Hold Me Not", I wanted the viewer to empathize with Mary. I tried to capture the essence of the joy she would have felt, not as one redeemed by Christ, but as one restored to a lost loved one.
In creating these pieces, It is my hope that my sculptures will bring comfort and hope to those who view them.