An Empty Tomb

I’ve always found Ken Currie’s paintings compelling, even if occasionally disturbing. I think it’s the way he paints his figures with a combination of radiant light and intense fleshliness. At times the seem ghostly, but never anything less than human. Often vulnerable, but also luminous. In a pair of rare non-human images, he offers something more symbolic using the same palate. Here are Life Story I and II (badly reproduced from a book – sorry!):

KC LifeStoryI (2)KC LifeStoryII (2)

Even if one were to avoid making too simplistic an identification with the discarded graveclothes and empty tomb of Jesus, these powerful images would speak to me of the fertile emptiness that Easter opens up to us. There is a waiting and a receptivity that characterises Eastertide as much as it might be thought to characterise Advent, for Easter is a time to be opened up to life. Timothy Radcliffe quotes Tomas Halik:

Hardly anything points towards God and calls as urgently for God as the experience of his absence.

The empty tomb is an experience of God’s absence, but it is one that invites us to wait for the life that will fill the space we make.


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