Sunday, 27 February 2011

Safely in Amman...and some rought sketches for some competing ideas...

Well now out in Amman, Jordan and trying to adapt the theology of the Sacred Heart to this particular context. The existing apse already has an image on it, and the apse is a sort of squashed shape, which appears like an almond shape when viewed from the nave, so not very pleasing aesthetically but not much we can do about that on the budget.

I have also been doing a bit of sketching. Having settled on a circle within a square, the figure is now a question. Should it be fully standing, sitting or a half figure? I want to try and get the Sacred Heart image itself central so that the circles around the figure relate to it, giving a sense of dynamic emanation. If the heart is too low it looks disturbing; the icon is an image of tranquillity and balance. If it is too large and too small it becomes unconnected to the figure, but I don’t want to slip into the trap of naturalism which would distract from the theological reality being manifested in the icon and make the icon more of a butcher’s slab.

As for the figure, standing or sitting is just one conumdrum. Should it be the classical Pantocrator who is the Lord of All, who presides traditionally from the dome of the church at the peak of the cosmos and the heavens, surrounded by prophets and angels. Or should it be a figure which touches into Easter and the Passion, remembering how the Sacred Heart at the centre of all things manifests itself on the Cross when even death cannot conquer love; so a figure of the Man of Sorrows perhaps or the figure of Jesus revealing his pierced side as He did to Thomas in the Upper Room?

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