Christus Resurrexit; Suspended liturgical sculpture

Submitted by Bilhenry Walker

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Client: Plymouth UCC

Location: Milwaukee, Milwaukee

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $4,500

Project Team

Artist

Bilhenry Walker

Bilhenry Gallery LLC

Other

Barb Hoppe

Plymouth UCC

Other

Pastor Andrew Warner

Plymouth UCC

Overview

“Christus Resurrexit” or (Christ the resurrected one) was originally conceived and built in 2011. Its physical dimensions are 45″ x 44″ x 6″ and can be hung in either the horizontal or vertical position. It is fabricated from my proprietary aluminum extrusion and coated with a transparent wine lacquer.

Goals

A larger version of this sculpture was imagined for the sanctuary, but budgetary constraints dictated installation of a much smaller piece. The installation could not occur until the major remodeling of the church building was completed and an appropriate space found. Although the sculpture was not designed for the space to begin with, it serves to activate the space and integrates a liturgical presence in an oft dismissed area.

Process

The chief liaison between the Church and myself was Pastor Andrew Warner who saw the original images of "Christus Resurrexit" which had been photo-shopped into his Sanctuary and liked what he saw. He told me at that time that any decision on this project would have to wait until after the Capital Campaign was over and the re-modeling completed. This project was, essentially, initiated by my providing these un-solicited photographs of the sculpture to Pastor Warner. He took it from there and eventually gained approval from the building committee for its installation.

Additional Information

The method of installation determines the meaning of the sculpture. When displayed in the vertical position it resembles a crucified form, but when hung horizontally the figure has freed itself from the cross and is in its resurrected state. The "flying" position alludes to Dali's painting, "Christ, St John of the Cross" which depicts the crucified Jesus floating in space above the earth.