Wichita, Kan., Feb 23, 2012 / 09:12 am
Wichita’s Catholic cathedral has commissioned two statues whose creator intends to provide a “powerful” depiction of the Crucifixion and to celebrate Mary being pregnant with Jesus.
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception commissioned the Oregon-based artist Rip Caswell to create the bronze sculptures one-fourth larger than life size.
The piece “Mary and Joseph” depicts a pregnant Mary with her hand on her womb, while Joseph is shown as a supportive father figure and husband standing behind her.
Caswell said he has made some “bold departures” with this piece.
Traditionally, Mary’s pregnancy was hidden or portrayed as barely showing and St. Joseph was characterized as an older man in the background.
But Caswell said he sees a trend in churches of telling the traditional stories from a new angle.
“Culture and society have changed,” he explained. “Churches still want commissioned works to be of the highest quality and to remain true to doctrine, but they want them to reflect a more genuine portrayal of life and of the things with which we can all relate.
With his new sculpture, Caswell said he aims to show Mary “celebrating” her pregnancy and motherhood, and to portray Joseph as a “strong, solid and protective man, very much in love with Mary.”