Br. Duane Lemke is the superior of our retirement community at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake. He is also a gifted artist who recently created a series of canvas banners for the community chapel that are filled with Lenten themes. He shares a bit about the images pictured here:
“I’ve continually been drawn toward multimedia and discovered that my work is Expressionist. My relationship with the viewer is to use color, media, and symbol to suggest and hint, but deliberately not to lead toward one particular thought or conclusion. The most common question is ‘WHAT IS IT?’
“Lent-themed elements are found on each of the banners. They contain ashes, sand, purple, rose, and broken pottery and glass. [NOTE: the pottery shards are from an archeological dig in the Holy Land sponsored by Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology brought back by one of our seminarians; Br. Duane emphasizes that the pieces were legally obtained.]
“There are lines both fluid/organic, and solid/firm. The solid lines themselves are made from ashes. Looking closely, one will notice bits and pieces of the Gospel incorporated into each banner. It is my hope that at different points during the season of Lent, they might inspire each of us in different ways.
“So: ‘WHAT IS IT?’ Is the pottery reminiscent of the vessel used by the woman at the well, or the fragility of life? Do the pieces of broken glass reflect our own brokenness, or sparkle with the sunlight we hope for at Easter? Is the sand the road we are walking this Lent, or suggest desert thirst? Do ashes represent mortality, or a link between Ash Wednesday and the pillar of smoke and fire of Exodus? Do the dynamic lines represent God stirring within us, or Easter radiating outward through Lent? My only attempt was to use the sacramentals present to us during Lent, put them together on canvas, add artistic license, and let them speak to each of us in our own way.”