You are welcome to view the exhibition in any order.
Cross used in an Episcopal Church in El Salvador
Photographed by Richard Bower, recently retired as Dean, St. Paul's Cathedral, Syracuse, N.Y.
The Salvadoran folk art well known these days was the work of an artistic and cultural genius, Fernando Llort, Salvadoran. During the 70s, when the violence and chaos that would later turn into declared war was developing, Llort began working with campesinos in the village of Las Palmas, El Salvador, in the northeast, near the Honduran boarder.
Llort's designs were simple: primary colors mostly, and a kind of two dimensional art. Images of the rural life of the campesino predominated. Animals, birds, flowers, simple adobe houses, with red tile roofs.
As the war progressed, and the conciousness of the poor deepened, themes such as the value of women, the importance of community, and the Salvadoran face of God became common. Of the crosses I photographed, there is one with a dark, black Christ, reminiscent of the Cristo-negro of the shrine (Guatemala) at Esquipulas. There are crosses with women at the center, Christ-like, suffering yet the ground of hope in their communities. Crosses with community scenes, depicting the suffering, yet vibrant life of the people when organized into effective communities. These crosses depict both the crucifixion and the resurrection at the same time, suffering and joy (beauty).
These crosses and more like them are found in the Episcopal/Anglican Churches throughout the country. They are part of the fabric of worship often depicting the themes of God and Christ involved in the lives and struggles of the people.
|©2001 The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts|