CONCLUDES OUR PARTICIPATION IN ST. MARY'S CHURCH, WILIWMSTON (MICHIGAN)
Last June 2, Bishop Boyea celebrated the dedication mass of a new altar and altarpiece at St. Mary's Church in Williamston, Michigan. The diocese had commissioned our workshops to produce a three-part altarpiece and a set of elements for the presbytery to be inserted with unity and coherence among the artistic elements already present in the church..
Our planners and architects started working months ago to to create in this church a new space in harmony with the pre-existing environment. To achieve this, it was essential to get it right in the organization of the space, the style of the artwork, the finishes, the color palette, the hierarchy of the elements...
Once the project was defined, the work continued in the workshop with the work of the painter, on the one hand, and the marble workers, carpenters and gilders, on the other. Carlos, the artist who has given life to the scene of the Crucifixion, tells us about his work of creation, adapting to the ideas and tastes of the client while trying to maintain his own style. He tells us that In his work there is a constant search for "naturalness, for the humanization of the characters represented without reaching hyperrealism, closer to photography and which, he explains, runs the risk of lacking depth". Another of his hallmarks is the use of a limited palette in his works, four or five colors that are combined and that make up the final work.
THE CRUCIFIXION ALTARPIECE
The new altarpiece occupies the entire wall of the apse and is composed of two elements: an oil painting on canvas, and a large varnished wooden frame that draws three arches, one for each part of the painting.
The central panel represents the crucifixion in a traditional style: Christ in the center and the Virgin and St. John on both sides of the cross. The painter was inspired by a work of PerufinoBoticelli's contemporary artist to conceive the work, although the work is closer to a contemporary aesthetics in other aspects, such as in the choice of landscape, rocky and close to water instead of arid and dry, and in the interest in the expression of the characters, looking for faces that communicate.
The Christ represented hangs on the cross already dead, but his body, muscular and clear, is clean of wounds and blood. At his feet is Maria, whose face of indefinite age, quietly expresses the pain of a woman whose soul has been mercilessly pierced by steel. She wears her blue dresses, Mary's own color, in a dark tone, for she is already dressed in mourning. San Juanwhose green and ochre garments enter into dialogue with the landscape, looks at Christ from below, as if reliving the message that Jesus has given him: "Behold your mother".
On either side of the scene are Mary Magdalene and St. Peter, with their own attributes and characteristics: Mary, with long hair and a penitent gesture, appears next to a jar of spilled perfume, and St. Peter, with the keys of the Kingdom in his hands, passes by a rooster.This element refers to the three denials of the apostle on the night of Jesus' arrest.
THE NEW ELEMENTS OF THE PRESBYTERY.
On a marble platform with three steps that delimits the presbytery, there are the head officemade entirely in wood with gilded details, and the ambo and the two altars that were made of red Alicante marble and later embellished with reliefs carved in wood: a lamb -Agnus Dei- for the main altar and a pelican for the tabernacle altar.. Both figures are, in Christian iconography, symbols of Jesus Christ.
The tabernacle, gilded and with a small dome, is original of the church of Santa Maria. It was somewhat deteriorated by time and was restored and gilded again. The candlesticks, the altar cross and the tabernacle lamp are all new, created at Talleres de Arte Granda.