The centerpiece of the exhibit is a series of small glass window studies, later used in a full scale glass installation, Stations of the Cross: Windows from the Catholic Church of St. Valentin in Limbach/Baden, Germany. The church in Limbach was destroyed in a devastating fire in 2003, and later rebuilt, serving as a symbol of Christ’s death and resurrection. Gabriele Wilpers gathered dust, ash and soot from the site and used them to produce a likeness of the starry sky but in negative, with the stars appearing dark against a light background, calling to mind the destruction of the church, and a reminder of the transience of human existence. The theme of transformation, the reference to the disaster and how it was overcome, and the journey of Christ’s passion to resurrection became the starting point for the church’s renovation through architectural and artistic design.
As in the Stations of the Cross, light and its many stunning and colorful manifestations take center stage in the paintings. The fragility and injuries of the underlying images contrast formally and emotionally with the brilliance of the gold and the superimposed particles such as glass granules, tiny rock crystals and gilded seeds that capture and reflect the light. Each of the seeds represents hope and promise to a suffering world.