Saturday night, February 25th, we had our opening for our Cruciformity: Stations on Skin show. Around 30 of the tatooees showed up and were the actual living “Stations of the Cross” while hundreds of art enthusiasts came by and interacted with the show.
Here’s a couple pics that are up on the wall of people’s tattoos.
It was an awesome night.
Below are pictures of the gallery stations. The statements below are from the people who are represented in the large pictures.“Most people that know me would never imagine that I would actually get a tattoo, so when they see it I get a great chance to tell them how important Christ is in my life and to explain what Easter is all about.” – Dennis “I selected this tattoo because it reminds me of my favorite catholic prayer “Jesus Lamb of God”. It makes me understand what Jesus did for us.” “I have spoken with other Christians about my tattoo, Their comments all say I’m crazy. I say “Crazy for Jesus”. – Sherrell “I often forget that while Jesus was wholly God, he was also wholly human; this tattoo reminds me that in His walk to His death – His actual, mortal death – He felt pain, weakness, and loneliness.” “People don’t really know what to do with the idea that my church is encouraging tattoos. And in that moment of being really thrown off, they’re open to hearing about Jesus, who He is, and what He means to me.” – Brent “I am so thankful that I have found a faith community, imperfect as we are, that truly know and show unconditional love, as has been shown to us!” “I have wanted a tattoo since those 1960’s teenage years…but I could only push my Dad so far back then…and I just never did it.” “I chose Station 4, Jesus meets his mother. I think it is absolutely beautiful! I am a Mom to a wonderful son, and at times through the years I have seen him struggle and have seen him in pain, it was heartrending. I can relate, though in only a minuscule way, to the pain that the Mother of Jesus felt on that day.” – Joyce “This tattoo represents a life with some things I did not ask for, but was given the grace and ability, through Christ, to carry this journey out, walking upright, with perseverance and endurance which in turn produced fruitfulness in my life.” “My story is really God’s story…I get to share how He has been real in my life… how He has been faithful, even in my faithlessness. How He’s carried me, had others carry me and taught me how to carry. How through His death and resurrection, I now have life…and others can have life too. This tattoo is an awesome ‘breaking down of walls’. And it also serves as a constant reminder that His love is permanent….for not only me but everyone.” – Stephanie “Interestingly enough, it wasn’t the aesthetic of Station #6 that appealed to me. In fact, my first thought was that it was a little funny looking. The appeal for me was in Scott’s single-word description. “Humility.” I couldn’t get past it. It took a bit for the image to click, but when it did, I was moved. The image of a tree that’s been chopped down… So simple, but so powerful. Such a beautiful way to visually render Christ’s humility, especially in the passion story, and especially in light of Station 10, a tree growing out of a coffin, representing Jesus’ resurrection.” “If Christ, even Christ, God in the flesh, can make nothing of Himself for the good of His beloved bride, the Church, how much more so should I humble myself? Metaphorically speaking, I am a tree in constant need of chopping.” – Luke “Christ’s death on the cross is what allows me to be who I am today, but understanding the pain and the suffering of the actual act of crucifixion has helped me to understand grace in very personal way.”
Before the gallery opening, one of the tattoo participants asked me what the most surprising aspect of the project was. Was it that so many people got tattoos? Thinking about it, my response is that I was surprised by how thankful everyone is who partook in the show by getting a tattoo. Pretty much everyone who got a tattoo thanked me for putting on this project and working hard on the designs. Their tattoo process meant a ton to them and they just had gratitude for being in a community that provided them the chance to get a meaningful tattoo.
There have been many comments from outsiders on this project and everyone feels like they should have a place to say their opinion. Well good for them. For me though, I know this was worth doing for the fruit I’m seeing in this community and in the lives of the people who participated. It’s been such an honor to be able to be involved in this.