The Assumption of the Virgin is a work designed for Assumption Village in St John’s Oregon, and was commissioned for this project by Rev Michael Maslowsky in the summer of 2001 and installed the following spring.
This piece grew out of my desire to depict a very different sort of Virgin and Assumption than that of historical tradition, a scene usually of deathbed sorrow and angels in ascension with a pious and youthful Virgin wafting heavenward in a cloud. Instead here, Mary settled into her years, her face has lined with the years of hard life in the desert. She is full of the weight of the world and the sorrow of her life, and yet wise and charged with faith. She steps forward from one world to the next, one foot on the edge of a precipice, proudly and without a hint of doubt, absolutely confident in gods grace that will keep her from falling into oblivion. To me she becomes the embodiment of absolute, rock solid faith in the face of a hard life and times that call faith into deepest question.
The symbolism of the crescent moon goes back millennia, linking Mary with the earliest stirrings of religious feeling in humanity and the first known forms of the divine feminine. It was my intent to link this moon symbol with a more modern sense of our nearest planetary partner, thus bringing the symbolism into a more contemporary form.