Each year, for the past 12 years, the Nortmead Uniting Church have organised an anual exhibition based around the Stations of the Cross. The Stations of the Cross refers to a series of images depicting Christ on the day of his crucifixion and accompanying prayers. Commonly, a series of 14 or 15 images will be arranged in numbered order along a path and the faithful travel from image to image, in order, stopping at each station to say the selected prayers and reflections.
The curators at the Northmead Uniting Church each year approach 15 artists to produce work representing each station. As the curators state “We do not ask artists to participate because they are religious or not religious; they are always asked becuase we think they have the ability to address significant life questions through their art practice”.
The 2019 exhhibition, which ran from 8 April to 21 April at the Northmead Creative & Performing Arts High School, featured, as Station 4, Anne Graham’s Via Dolorosa. This Station represents Jesus meeting his mother as he carries the cross.
Describing the inspiration for the work Graham writes:
I have been reading the poems of Mohammad Ali Maleki, an Iranian poet who has been living in deention on Manus Island; he writes about many things but often about his mother and his dreams of being with her and losing her, he became a part of this work about a mother losing her son; his poems filled me profound sadness. The hands are for all mothers reaching out to their sons.’
“I saw a hand stretching out to me – it was my mothers hand”
from The Migrant Child by Mohammad Ali Maleki in Truth in the Cage Rochford Press 2018
Truth in the Cage is available through the Rochford Press bookshop https://rochfordpress.com/rochford-press-bookshop/