In the course of 2017, our 70th anniversary year,
one of our most exciting projects
was carried out
in collaboration with HMP LowMoss.
After much discussion with the Prison authorities and in particular with the Prison Chaplains and the Education Department’s Art tutors and students, several inmates began work on a series of mosaics which conveyed something of the reflections the lads had on the traditional Stations of the Cross. Originally, we received seven of these remarkable pieces of work, along with some narratives and descriptions of their work submitted by the prisoners themselves. Their stories are remarkable and very moving. More recently another six pieces of work were delivered, again with remarkable insights and moving stories.
The mosaics are on display in St. Matthew’s Church, along with their respective stories and commentaries, and they are depicted here, alongside the written pieces.
Our sincere and grateful thanks to all staff and chaplaincy members of LowMoss who embraced this project to enthusiastically, and inspired the artists to produce such moving and stimulating art and stories.
The story of the Project:
The Stations depicted here are based on the
14 traditional Stations of the Cross….Not all of them were depicted.
Here is the full set of images produced for St. Matthew’s by the artists of Low Moss.
Our sincere thanks also to all staff and chaplaincy team members who embraced this project so enthusiastically, and inspired the artists to produce great things!
First – ‘The Bridge’ – the theme chosen for the 70th anniversary of the founding of St. Matthew’s parish, on 23 October 1946
The dates 1946 and 2016 can be found at the apex of the two arches
No. 1: Jesus is condemned to death…
Station 1. Jesus is condemned to death. Artist: Martin
“The first station where Jesus is sentenced to death. He knew he needed to die for our sins, although it was the wrong choice”.
Martin has incorporated book of scriptures, a white cross and the scales of justice.
“Pilate had the chance to free Jesus, but he did not, and Jesus knew that he had done nothing wrong and he was laying down his life for our sins that we might inherit eternal life”.
No. 2 Jesus accepts his cross
Station 2. Artist: Martin
“Jesus accepts the cross. The white lights shine through the prison bars and illuminate the way and the open door that Jesus walks through represent tolerance of a difficulty and a struggle, acceptance without complaint.
The sun shines brightly beside the cross on the horizon”.
No. 3 Jesus falls the first time
Station 3. Artist: Lee
“The idea of falling, filing or not succeeding, letting down a partner or my family is re-created here in dominoes. It’s like a domino effect, when I started using drugs, I lost my partner and then contact with my family. One mistake had implications. I must learn to make the correct choice the next time”
NOTE: Lee was due to be released before he would have had time to make a mosaic of this station. He wanted to be part of the project, so he opted for the photograph of the dominoes instead!
No. 4 Jesus meets his mother
Station 4: Artist: Nelson
“Jesus meets his mother” This is Nelson’s mosaic. He took the composition from a wood cut by Kathe Kollwitz, an image of a mother and child. Nelson is colour blind and he embellished it with paint. Nelson has a tattoo with ‘mother’ on his arm. He was brought up in care. Sometimes it can be impossible for our parents to be there for us.
No 5. Jesus is helped by Simon of Cyrene…
Station 5: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry his cross. Artist: John.
John chose to depict Simon of Cyrene helping Jesus. During his prison term John became very seriously ill. He was attending the hospital and the doctors and medical staff helped him. They saved his life. He was genuinely grateful and chose to depict the doctors and nurses in his mosaic
No 6. Veronica wipes Jesus’ face
Station 6. Veronica wipes Jesus’ face. Artist: Peter
“Veronica wipes Jesus’ face. Jesus is the convict, he is the unpopular one. She only saw empathy and understanding for Jesus.; she loved him.”
Peter likes the work of Amedeo Modigliani, a famous Italian artist. His style has influenced Peter’s mosaic.
No. 7 Jesus falls the second time…
Station 7. Jesus falls for the second time.Artist: Slawomir
“Jesus falls for the second time. The weight of the cross is almost too much to bear. No matter how hard it is to continue and go forward, do not give up. Persevere”
No. 8 Jesus meets his mother…
Station 8. Jesus meets his mother. Artist: Gerard.
O Mary full of goodness, under the protection of your Immaculate Heart we seek refuge. Holy mother of God, hear our prayers and deliver us from all dangers. Help us overcome our trials and be faithful to your teachings, so that we can remain , glorious and Blessed Virgin, true children of God.
“This short novena to our Blessed Lady gave me both comfort and strength as I was struggling to come to terms with the death of my eldest sister. Michelle was 42 when she died of cancer in 2010. My sister was my faithful friend”.
No. 9 Jesus falls the third time…
Station 9. Jesus falls the third time. Artist: John.
“Jesus falls a third time. There can be times when people could help and they choose to turn a blind eye. Even when those who could help – an officer or an official – we should never let our own anger frustration to surface. We should always forgive.”
No 10. Jesus is stripped of his garments
Station 10. Jesus is stripped of his garments. Artist: Steven
Steven chose to depict Jesus taking off his clothes, Coming into prison, Steven was stripped of his clothes and his life which leaves him feeling like he has metamorphisised into his prison number 6204
No. 12 Jesus dies…
Station 12. Jesus dies on the cross. Artist: Richard
“Help me admit I have made mistakes. Help me say sorry. Thank you for forgiving me. I love you and will always do the right thing”.
From Low Moss to Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janiero. In art, everything is possible
No 13. Jesus is taken from the Cross…
Station 13. Jesus is taken from the cross. Artist: Thomas
Thomas chose the station where Jesus’ body is taken down from the cross. Joseph of Arimathea gave Jesus his own burial cave. He took the risk to help Jesus in his hour of need.
“Be courageous in times of adversity; help your fellow human being.”
Thomas’ mosaic shows two hands reaching out to each other, depicting friendship, hope and love.