On Monday, we visited the St. George Temple and spend some time at its Visitors’ Center. They have a display there called “The Healing Power of Christ” which includes about a dozen statues depicting various aspects of the Savior’s life and ministry. We took the tour and listened to our French-Canadian guide tell us about each sculpture. (Our kids would have been happy if it had taken 1/3 of the time, especially since they had a hard time understanding our guide’s accent.) Anyway, the sculptor, Angela Johnson, was a professional opera singer who decided to try her hand at sculpture 10 years ago. Without any lessons, she bought some clay and started using her newfound gift. The resulting artwork is quite beautiful. Click here to see a few examples of her work.
The next morning, I received an email from my cousin Kim, strong suggesting that I check out a fine art photography exhibit called “Reflections of Christ,” a very unusual way to depict the Savior’s life through photographs. The production team organized these photo shoots and used models of the various individuals, including the man who often portrays Christ during the Easter Pageant on the grounds on the Mesa, Arizona temple. I believe the photos and video are on display at the Visitors’ Center there as well. You can view the images in a five-minute video by clicking here. It’s definitely worth the time. You can also visit their website at http://www.reflectionsofchrist.org/.
Those who know me, know that I love the gospel and I love the fine arts. So both of these exhibits were meaningful to me. I love to see the Savior depicted in paintings and music (if it’s done well) and so it is nice to see him depicted in other mediums too. I enjoy seeing images of the Savior displaying a wide range of emotions as in the case of the photograph depicting his joy after being baptized by John in the River Jordan.
In most artwork, his expression is very serious, sometimes even stern. Other times he appears emotionless. I subscribe to the belief that God is NOT without “body, parts or passions” and so he does feel emotions righteously. Christ feels joy and expresses it on his face. He laughs. He feels disappointment when we choose not to follow him. He feels sadness for our suffering. He feels content when we serve one another. The most enduring emotion He feels, of course, is love for each of us. And that love is the emotion I most enjoy seeing depicted in artwork on him.
The scriptures teach us that all things testify of Christ, and I’m grateful for good artwork that bears witness of his divinity. It’s nice to have these kinds of testimonies available to share.