symbol: 1. an object standing for or representing something else; an emblem
(The New Webster Handy College Dictionary, pg. 526)
‘Tis an old saying, the Devil lurks behind the Cross.
Miquel de Cervantes (1547-1616)
Sola Dei Gloria, 2011
Egg tempera, gold leaf on wooden cross
Courtesy of the artist
A cross is a very simple geometrical figure consisting of two lines perpendicular to each other and dividing one or two of the lines in half (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross). Cross shaped signs are one of the most ancient of human symbols, dating back to the earliest stages of human cultural development. While the exact meaning of these early signs is unknown, it is supposed that the cross was used for its formal and ornamental value, and may also have possessed religious significance. During the European Bronze Age (1800-700 BC) the cross became a widely diffused symbol throughout Europe. By the second century AD it had become the most potent and widely disseminated symbol of the Christian religion, reminding Christians of God’s act of love in Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary and, through his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, his triumph over sin and death. Throughout the centuries the cross has also served many other uses, including functioning as a personal signature, as a grammatical marking device, as a vehicular sign, and as a sign of danger.
The exhibition X position, presented by the Visual Arts Alberta Association (VAAA), explores ideas
concerning the use of symbols and how artists re-interpret symbols in contemporary times,
especially the politically and socially loaded symbols pertaining to Christianity and the Church.