Welcoming Christ Victorious on The Cross

Christ Victorious by Gabriel HummerstoneThis carving is the fruit of a Lenten Meditation in memory of my Mother, a Vicar’s wife whose vocation was to dish out unsparing hospitality to all comers.

The carving was inspired by a pun, or “rebus” in heraldic terms, on the Welsh for the word Welcome-“CROESO” and the word for Cross-“CROES”: in other words”You are Welcome even though you are going to kill me”.

The figure was inspired by illustrations from the Catalogue for the 1979 exhibition held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art called “The Age of The Spiritual”, which dealt with the Classical Legacy to be found in Early Christian Art of the Byzantine Empire from the 4th-8th centuries. This period corresponds with that known as “The Age of Saints” in Wales: a time when as many as 800 Saints were active in Wales, none of whom were recognized by Rome though many of whom are commemorated by Churches named for them. At this time it was not unusual to depict Christ beardless and with the physique of a triumphant Greek Athlete as seen in typical Classical Greek Sculpture. This Christ is shown earless and hairless and as close to unisexual as a Carpenter and The Son of Man can be. He is seen here as the triumphant victim of the concentration camp and of the psychiatric hospital: an agonistic hero whose trial has been beyond the olympic-to accept all the psychological projections of the world of man.His triumph is to accept all and through welcoming his crucifixion to acheive resurrection.

The inscription on the top of the Cross reads “Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd”, which means “The Truth Against The World”, this is a phrase that is called out before the Eisteddfod in Wales every year and reflects the truth of the Christian myth that has been so misrepresented and so misunderstood over the centuries and all over the world.