In Exodus 35:35 we read that God has filled artists with skill to do every kind of work done by an artisan, designer, or embroiderer in blue, purple and crimson yarns, and in fine linen. They are able to do work of all kinds and with such originality. This piece of Scripture reflects something of the skill of this fabric artist. I do not know the artist but the gift that this person offers is a talent, a light, offering compassion, hope and joy to a suffering world.
The larger than life central figure exhibits the greatest contrast of values in colour. The heart of Jesus calls us. Even the nails/wounds resemble small heart-like shapes. Gold lines radiate outwards towards all that Jesus holds dear: a mother holding her child, the father very present to his little family. These small figures focus the viewer’s eye as do the small dwellings on the left. Notice how creation beckons in the form of earth, fire, water, vegetation.
The light and dark values give the illusion of space; the forms are created by colour and perspective. Rhythm supports the central figure and gives the piece vitality. The patterns are mostly geometric: squares, rectangles, triangles, circles or combinations of these forms. Interestingly though, the language they speak is soft, like the heart.
Contemplate the face of Jesus. It is a suffering face and yet compassion emanates from his eyes and from his heart. The mix of texture and colour speak of Jesus’ concern for humanity and for the planet. The cross is visible behind the risen Jesus.
May this tapestry be a source of prayerful contemplation and creative inspiration, providing joy, hope and praise as we appreciate another culture’s image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Reflection by Donna Dolan, RSCJ
A Sacred Heart image from the Lumko Pastoral Institute in South Africa