The painting that reminds us of Golgotha

Friday 21.03.2008

Leena Ryhänen, TM; HuK


Visual artist Maire Laasanen’s painting Golgotha reminds us of the events that took place over two millennia ago. The agony of her colors is earthshaking. The crosses are high on the hill. Everyone has witnessed the events, some have been watching from afar.

The black soil sighs with pain and deep grief. The bedrock has fractured.

The earth has concealed within the whippings, the desecration, the spittings, the hate, the punches and the nails that penetrated the flesh. In there lays the violence, the wars, the murders and the collusions of past ages.

When I look at the black hill, I can also see the suffering of this day: the violence faced by the children and the youth, and him who is bullied and beaten. A castaway, struck down with no pity or love.

I see the gangs who attack those who can’t defend themselves alone. I see great uncertainty in children’s schooldays. Both the students and the teachers have to face the violence. The fear is sudden, unexpected.

So many are troubled, the lonely, the divorced, the unemployed, the sick, those stressed with work and those with family difficulties. The black hill sighs with anxiety and depression, that are with us this day. Many bewail: there is no relief, no one to help.

The black soil sighs with the perishableness of life. The black soil has a place for everyone’s cross, everyone’s burden.

The heavy cloud on the right makes me feel the oppressive weather. The dark, black and red cloud is distressing. It can be an approaching threat or a fear, something that scares us.

We cannot control and organize our lives so that there will be no dark clouds. The yellow color underneath it adds to the pain.

I keep asking, how can we drive the cloud away? Our society is often powerless to find the means to even alleviate the distress it causes.

The cross in the middle is large. It’s colors are the colors of the whole human life. Thinking about that cross on the highest place, I see, that upon that cross the crucified had borne his greatest loneliness, the abandonment; far away did his cries of agony fare.

Many had turned their heads away when they had seen him, so mangled he was. That cross cuts the air from the ground to the sky, from the east to the west, through the whole world. He wanted to have mercy on those who crucified him, he took care of his mother. And before he had tilted his head, he had said: it is fulfilled.

I see the smaller cross on the right leaning to the same direction. From that cross a plea was heard: remember me, when you are at your kingdom.

The same plea can be heard from the lips of many, even with agony and need. Help me and have mercy on me. Or I fall into the black soil.

The robber got his answer: already today you will be with me in paradise.

We don’t have to look into the black soil, to trouble and distress. We, who walk the earth today, getting ready for Easter, can ask for help. And we can also see that our plea will be answered.

When I look at the artist’s painting Golgotha, it says it clearly, the decisive battle is over. the artist has created a gleaming light around the cross with brighter colors, hope to the blue waiting. We have won. The great cross that reaches far into the sky, is empty. It is there that all the agony, pain, suffering and all the evil were borne.

As I look at Golgotha, my anxiety is relieved and I see hope. Even though there is great darkness in life, there is no need for despair. So speaks to me the painting Golgotha.