Fragments of Light

Monthly Archives: January 2015

Making What We Will of the World

The news that the Son of God has laid hold of our humanity in its entirety and offered it back, crucified and risen, to his Father in the power of the Spirit for our sakes, compels us in our turn now to offer back to God in joyful thanks nothing less than all that we personally are, and have and may yet become. ( . . . ) Indeed, in as much as the world is apprehended as meaningful, it constitutes a distinctly human environment, shot through with significance that transcends its materiality alone, a union of material being and semiotic excess in which “a thing is not just what it is, and its reality takes time to unfold. A distinctly human engagement with or indwelling of the world is thus inevitably and always one in which we “make something of” the world rather than functioning as mere passive observers or consumers of it.

—Trevor Hart, “Cosmos, Kenosis, and Creativity” in “Tikkun Olam”—To Mend the World: A Confluence of Theology and the Arts, Edited by Jason Goroncy

In his recent work, Luce splendente, Shining Light, Filippo Rossi presents the viewer with a large cruciform (200 x 300 cm.) which supports a dazzling array of discrete polygons, some of gold leaf and some of brilliant pure color. These units represent all humanity and the individual souls who comprise it gathered within the breadth of the cross. Upon closer inspection the viewer will observe that gouges, pockmarks, and slashes scar the surface of the piece. This treatment of the surface recalls mankind’s many wounds and tribulations. However, like the Early Christian art which inspired this piece, the gold and gem-like forms encrusting the field of white light which covers this cross leave no doubt about the victory of Christ’s redeeming acts.“The shining light ” is the Cross triumphant.

As an artist, Rossi has returned again and again to the imagery of the cross, each work bearing the evidence of his focused attention to the surfaces he crafts and to the inherent life in the materials themselves. Under the artist’s hand, the voice of these humble materials is amplified and given new interpretation: so may stones cry out, little hills skip with joy, or the wood of a tree embrace a broken body.

The exhibit Luce del Mondo, the Light of the World, featuring the recent work of Filippo Rossi and Susan Kanaga is currently on display, November 28, 2014–February 2, 2015 at the Church Of The Transfiguration & Patmos Art Centre, Community of Jesus, Orleans, MA