Stations of the Cross at York Minster this Lent and Easter will be marked by 14 dramatic and stunning artworks created for the Minster by renowned York based artist Jerry Scott.
Dating from around 15th century, Stations of the Cross (also known as Way of the Cross), is an important devotional tradition for Christians during Lent. 14 stations depicting Jesus’ journey from condemnation to crucifixion, are placed in the order in which the events unfold. At each station, prayers are offered, hymns are sung and there is time to reflect on Jesus’s anguish and suffering.
Stations of the Cross has inspired powerful and evocative responses from artists through the ages. Jerry Scott’s contemporary interpretation of Christ’s passion is both beautiful and challenging. A regular worshipper at the Minster, the new pictures combine hand drawn and digitally created elements and are the fulfilment of a life-long ambition for Jerry. He said:
“Christ’s journey to the Cross is a subject which has preoccupied me since childhood and the Stations of the Cross have always struck me as a potent distillation of the human agony of His last hours and at the same time of God’s love for mankind. As an artist I began thinking about trying to tackle this subject many years ago. Visual art has for millennia been very comfortable with, and fascinated by, religious subject matter. Abstract art, like music, is capable of achieving a powerful connection between our everyday reality and the mysteries which underpin it. As such my religious and artistic life are intimately connected. At the best moments in the studio, there are glimpses of truth, of certainties about how things really are which provide the sustenance to continue.”
Jerry explained that the artistic process was tough and emotionally challenging. He said:
“I first started working on these pictures about four years ago. It was a daunting undertaking as I tried to find the visual means with which I might be able to communicate something worthwhile about the subject matter. I approached the Stations in sequence until I had a first draft of all fourteen. There were then numerous revisions and much reworking. Sometimes the task just seemed too difficult and occasionally I abandoned it. Little by little though things fell into place and the pictures began to take on a life of their own.
“Creating the work is a private, solitary business and in contrast it is a great joy to share them in the glorious setting of the Minster. As well as being seen by many visitors, I am particularly glad that during Lent they will be the focus of the weekly Stations of the Cross service.”
Jerry has donated the artworks to York Minster. The Revd Canon Dr Christopher Collingwood, Canon Chancellor at York Minster said:
“The pictures are abstract and this provides a wonderful opportunity to look carefully to see what might be there. There are no right answers: the pictures speak to each of us in their own way. The Chapter of York rejoices in the fulfilment of Jerry’s ambition and is immensely grateful to Jerry for the generosity with which he has given them to the Minster.”