Cruciformity | Stations on Skin
PRESS RELEASE – written by Cameron Hammon
(Houston, TX)—February 15, 2012— “I’ve spent my whole 20′s deconstructing the white Scandinavian Jesus that hung in my Lutheran Church,” says Houston based artist Scott Erickson, “and I didn’t want to add to the overwhelming Caucasian Jesus imagery out there.”
Ecclesia Houston is not your typical Houston church. Nowhere is that more evident than their recently announced plan to celebrate Lent with 126 tattoos. A diverse cross section of the congregation have chosen to participate in the show by inking themselves with the story of Jesus, among those participating are Pastor Chris Seay, Scott Erickson, and many key staff and leaders in the community. Every Lenten season Ecclesia artistically tells the story of Jesus’ crucifixion through their Stations of the Cross gallery show. This year they have decided to engage an art form that the Church has not typically embraced. In their particular context though, they believe it is an appropriate medium for Lenten contemplation.
Lent is considered the somberest season in the Christian calendar, marking the forty days leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. Seattle artist Scott Erickson, who paints weekly in the church’s five, packed worship services held in a warehouse/art gallery in the heart of Montrose, designed a series of tattoos to represent his interpretation of the season—and 126 church goers agreed to have them inked forever on their bodies,while hundreds more will commemorate holy week with temporary versions of the tattoos.
“In my opinion the Protestant visual culture is very under developed,” says Erickson, “Mostly it’s cute-sy lambs and shiny gold things. But when you look at the story of Jesus going to the cross… its a very hard- core story.”
This story, Pastor Chris Seay says “requires all followers of Jesus to take up their own cross and embrace His suffering. We cannot fast forward past the brutal torture and execution of our Lord and expect to experi- ence the full and complete joy of the resurrection.”
Erickson’s designs were inspired by Russian prison tattoos, Sailor Jerry imagery and other contemporary artists and designers.
“[Ecclesia Pastor and author] Chris Seay gave me this idea in December and I’ve spent two months on designs that represent the story of the cross, the history of Christian symbolism, and a maturely developed tattoo culture, ” says Erickson.
“This was no easy task… It wasn’t until I was led by a friend to the story of Russian prison tattoos that everything came together.”
Read more about the story and show by clicking here.