David Clayton, Crucifixion, six feet tall, egg tempera on panel, 2010.
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, NH has recently commissioned David Clayton, the College’s Artist-in-Residence, to complete a six foot painted crucifix for its chapel.
Mr. Clayton describes the piece: "It is low so that when the priest holds the host aloft, the figure of Christ is clearly visible within the angle of vision. We have Mass both ad orientem and versus populum, so the intention here is to make sure that however the Mass is said, the focus is not on the personality of the priest but on the person of Christ.
"The cross itself is based upon the early gothic Franciscan crosses. The style is similar to that iconographic, except that the face, in the Franciscan manner, reveals his suffering. The geometric designs in the background include an octagonal motif that represents the 'eighth day' of creation, that is, the age of the life, death and resurrection of Our Lord. There is a six-winged seraph at Our Lord's feet.
"The height of cross creates a vertical dimension in a small chapel by drawing the eye up to space above the sanctuary that was hardly noticed before because it was unused. Aside from seeking to steadily introduce more art, the next step is to raise money for a new altar and a gothic-style reredos that will go against the back wall and allow for the central placement of the tabernacle."
Original interview, New Liturgical Movement