Station 9 Womb (Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem) a photo by Polly’s Dolly on Flickr.
Creative response by: Rachel Yates
The bible passage is very bleak – it’s hopeless, warning perhaps of the dangers of following the “Laws” of the religions at the time (that might lead to a barren womb; that is, a place that bears no offspring, no-one to hand down the Christian teachings to.) These are the same laws that led to Jesus’ conviction of blasphemy. “Blessed are the wombs that never bore”. What sort of a world would it be if we were to say this? A world where we suffer watching our children struggle with life? Where we wish they had never been born into such suffering? Where negative ideologies hinder their growth and prevent them from living a free, fulfilling life?
I wanted to create an image that celebrated the feminine. The bible passage is very much about the female (often a symbol of the church, or bride of Christ). To represent the feminine, I chose the womb image. Perhaps the womb is like a “church”, nurturing the people within it to become spirit filled followers of Christ.
I like the idea that craft represents both the contemporary feminine and the traditional feminine. Craft is something good that connects our generations. Perhaps the strips of fabric represent not just “craft” as a phenomenon that does this, but also the ideologies we pass on to future generations. Sometimes good, sometimes negative. How might we avoid passing on the negative ideologies to our children?
Jesus allegorical statement to the daughters of Jerusalem is full of meaning… significance for both the men and women of the church. I wanted to create an image that harnessed the idea of the “green tree” – perhaps a metaphor for Jesus himself – representing a spirit filled, growing, life giving tree. I wanted to suggest that we are living differently, we are trying to live like “green trees”, full of life, spirit, energy that we can use to gently show the world that there is still love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things. My artwork became a prayer: let our church be like a womb that nurtures God’s children, and lets them fulfil their potential, to grow and flourish beyond the cross.